There were several driving factors in UVM’s decision to push the winter sports season back a month.
Vermont Director of Athletics Jeff Schulman spoke in a virtual press conference, and said the move had as much to do with recent guidance from Gov. Phil Scott as it did having a more limited student body on campus in mid-December.
“We feel like a month time is reasonable for things, hopefully, to stabilize around the state,” Schulman said. “Our students will have left campus by that point, and we’re optimistic that things will be in a better place at that point and we can begin competition.”
The delay ends just before the UVM men’s and women’s basketball teams begin America East play against UMass Lowell on Saturday, Dec. 18. UVM hockey was set to begin their Hockey East schedules against UConn this Friday, Nov. 20, but the men will now miss their first four weekend series and the women will miss their first three. Still, Schulman is confident this decision was the responsible one.
“The tone has changed in Vermont, and the number of cases has grown significantly,” Schulman said. “There’s this statewide, all-out effort to mitigate the virus and to bring it back under control.”
Vermont’s hockey and basketball teams will continue to practice during the delay, and are given COVID-19 tests three times a week, according to Schulman.