MILLERSVILLE, Pa. — Add the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference to the growing list of college leagues that are pushing off its fall sports season.
The League announcing the news via a press release. PSAC athletic directors, coaches and presidents all worked to make sure a comprehensive plan was in effect with the anticipation of resuming fall sports on time but as a season got closer it became apparent, that was not a feasible option. The decision push all sports until at least January 1st.
The news while expected still delivered a sting.
"They have been training on their own all summer with that goal and hope and to not have that ability it is absolutely heartbreaking for them," said Miles Gallagher, Millersville University's Director of Athletics.
In the conference's statement PSAC Commissioner Steve Murray said, "We cannot place our student athletes at greater risk than our general student body."
According to Gallagher the use of a "bubble" just is not an option.
"Without the ability to put our student athletes in the bubble like you are seeing professionally and test regularly. Those are some of the hurdles that we felt we needed to buy ourselves time."
Shippensburg University Director of Athletics Jeff Michales concurs.
"How are you going to test, trace, mitigate, whatever terminology you want to use, at our level. We are not a power five and even they are having challenges right now and they are testing regularly."
There are many questions about the feasibility of an all encompassing spring season but the league is committed to making sure every effort is made to get that done.
"We are going to have facility challenges, we are going to have personal challenges, but we have all committed to that. If this is what it takes for student athletes to have an athletics experience we are all in," said Shippensburg's Michaels
One of the models on the table for the conference is looking at, begins in early March and runs through the end of May. That calendar however doesn't mean all fall activities would shut down according to Gallagher.
"Our hope is that if we are on campus our coaches are allowed to have individual and small group workouts with them where social distancing can occur. And if we are able to do that, that keeps us progressing athletically as well as from a mental health perspective as well."
Coaches and players want to play, but right now it is a time of adjustment and embracing the challenges that lie ahead for Millersville head coach J.C. Morgan.
"They understand what is ahead of us they understand they are on a mission to make improvements as a program and we are going to find way to do that even with these circumstances"
Moving forward the situation will be continually evaluated to ensure that the health and safety of the student athletes is a top priority for the conference.