The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, which includes most Transylvania University teams, announced Monday that it will postpone high contact risk fall sports and move forward with fall seasons in the low contact sports of golf, tennis and cross country.
The decision impacts Transylvania men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams. Transylvania’s field hockey team is a member of the Southern Athletic Association, which previously announced the postponement of field hockey competition to the spring of 2021.
The HCAC Council of Presidents unanimously voted to modify the timing of the start of conference competition and championships for fall sports after extensive deliberations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The conference has begun formalizing plans to conduct a competitive schedule for soccer and volleyball during the 2021 winter and spring semesters. Details will be released at a later date.
Low contact sports at Transylvania will continue on schedule for the fall and, in addition to men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf and women’s and men’s tennis, will include eventing, triathlon and women’s and men’s swimming and diving, which begins in late fall and competes during the winter.
There have been no final decisions made regarding winter sports at this time.
“Transylvania athletics programs have enjoyed great success and are a source of pride on campus and in our community,” said Holly Sheilley, vice president for athletics. “Although I am saddened and disappointed for our student-athletes and coaching staff, our first priority has to be continuing to keep them healthy and safe. We are committed to doing everything we can to provide meaningful athletic experiences this fall and beyond. Our commitment to rise through these challenges will continue to grow until we have all our teams able to compete.”
According to Sheilley, the difficult decision to cancel and reschedule high contact athletics was not taken lightly. “Athletics are an important part of the Transylvania experience, but the risk is too high and the consequences too great.”
Fall sports teams and student-athletes whose seasons have moved to early 2021 will have the opportunity to participate in conditioning, strength training and practices provided all required local, state and federal health and safety guidelines are met.
The conference is also exploring establishing some competition dates for baseball and softball during the fall season. These games will not count toward league standings.