Transylvania Athletics is committed to providing a safe and competitive experience for our student-athletes while keeping their health and well-being at the forefront. We will be implementing strict safety protocols to ensure that our personal behaviors align for the common good — everything we do should be about “us” and not “me.”
Transylvania has collaborated with the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference and Lexington Clinic Sports Medicine team in developing a plan for practice, competition, travel, recruiting and other related collegiate athletic activities using the guidance from Healthy at Work, CDC recommendations and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
The athletics plan includes:
- Pre-participation screening and evaluation of student-athletes.
- Safe transition/acclimatization to athletic activity.
- Physical distancing principles and use of PPE.
- Competition and travel considerations.
- Steps to test student-athletes with potential COVID-19 illness.
- Isolation and quarantine guidelines of student-athletes.
- Cleaning and sanitization of equipment and athletic facilities.
- Implementation of an athletics “shared responsibility” infection prevention plan.
These plans will continue to evolve over the summer as we get more information about the pandemic.
Athletic schedules are being revised to accommodate the modular academic calendar. It is our intent to engage in as full a seasonal schedule as feasible within the recommendations of NCAA and HCAC.
Return of Fall Sport Student-Athletes
- Fall sport student-athletes are encouraged to quarantine in their current residence fourteen days prior to arrival and have limited contact with only those in their household. Each team will have a two-hour window to arrive on campus. Students may bring only two individuals in their immediate household to assist with moving into their residence hall room. Their head coach will let them know when the exact window for arrival will be.
- Once they are on campus or moved into off-campus housing, there is an additional 48-hour quarantine period. During this time, student-athletes will meet with coaches, complete compliance paperwork and do required trainings, including education on individual and facility health hygiene practices related to the pandemic. After 48 hours, teams will begin practicing within the resocialization of sports guidelines.
Mitigation and Prevention Measures
- All student-athletes will be required to complete a daily self-assessment and temperature check through an online system before leaving the residence hall or off-campus housing to come to an athletic facility. Further assessment may also be required prior to entering an athletic facility or departing for an away competition.
- We will require face coverings in most spaces unless you are actively participating in your sport. We will practice physical distancing. Signage and facilities have been arranged to encourage distancing and health hygiene.
- Our cleaning and disinfecting protocols for all areas have been significantly enhanced using hospital-grade cleaners and frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces to include athletic equipment.
- We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and modify plans if needed to protect the health of our student-athletes, staff and community.
These plans are fluid and will change as the latest scientific knowledge evolves. In order to keep you updated on new information (e.g., for spectators at games), we will be sending regular email communications as well as hosting Zoom video calls for student-athletes.
Frequently Asked Questions for Student-Athletes
Updated July 29, 2020
Will there be fall sports?
Transylvania will only be competing in fall intercollegiate athletics that are classified by the NCAA as low contact risk – Cross Country, Eventing, Golf, Tennis, Triathlon.
Will the other fall sports compete at all in 2020-21?
The SAA, for field hockey, and HCAC, for all other sports, have approved the option of competing in the winter and/or spring season. We will work with the University, state government, NCAA and HCAC/SAA in working through this.
When will students know if winter and spring sports are happening?
Swimming and diving has already been approved by the HCAC to practice and compete as it is a low contact risk sport. Additionally, there may be some competitions for baseball and softball in the fall as they are classified as medium contact risk sports. Decisions on basketball will be forthcoming. Spring sport, at this point, are proceeding forward with their spring season as planned.
Is there a discussion of moving NCAA championships from fall? from winter?
The NCAA Championships staff is reviewing logistics (costs, capability, etc.) of moving the championships. The NCAA Board of Governors will continue to review this possibility in August.
Will fall student-athletes return early to begin pre-season?
Any sports that are not competing in the fall will be returning to campus with the other Transy students during the phased move-in. Incoming students will move-in between Wednesday, August 19 – Friday, August 21 and returning upper class will move on Monday, August 24 – Friday, August 28. More information can be found here. Also, feel free to reach out to Director of Residence Life, Jeremy Sheffield with any questions.
Will the teams not competing this fall still be able to practice and hold team activities?
Yes. Following the NCAA Resocialization of Sport Guidelines in addition to campus, local, state and federal policies, teams will be able to continue to do strength & conditioning, meetings, and individual/small group practices. The athletic department is designing a plan that promotes safety as well as prepares our student-athletes to return to competition.
Will Fall student-athletes need to complete medical clearance paperwork and screening/baseline requirements with Sports Medicine? Have there been any changes to these protocols?
In addition to the regular medical documentation required, we will be requesting that student-athletes complete a COVID-19 Screening form. Pre-season student-athletes need to have form completed and submitted by August 11. All other student-athletes must have completed and submitted by the first day of class.
All freshmen student-athletes plus any returners who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who have had any ongoing issues or surgeries will be required to have a physical with our team physicians in order to be cleared for practice.
How will practicing affect a student-athlete’s NCAA eligibility?
The NCAA has issued a blanket waiver for all sports during the 2020-2021 academic year. The waiver states that Division III student-athletes will not be charged with participation for the 2020-21 season if their team competes in 50 percent or less of the sport’s maximum contests/dates of competition due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, each student-athlete will not be charged for the semesters in which they practice, as long as the sport meets these criteria.
The NCAA also approved a second blanket waiver which permits student-athletes to receive a two-semester/three-quarter extension of eligibility if the student-athlete is unable to participate in their sport during the 2020-21 academic year due to the impact of COVID-19.
Can a coach engage in athletically related activity with their student-athlete if the institution does not sponsor competition for fall sports in 2020?
Yes, provided that the athletically related activity is within the declared playing season.
If a student-athlete engages in athletically related activity within the declared playing season in which no outside competition will be conducted, will the student-athlete be charged with a season of participation?
No. A student-athlete is only charged with a season of participation when the student-athlete participates (practices or competes) during or after the first contest in the traditional segment. If the student-athlete’s engagement in athletically related activity does not include outside competition, the student-athlete may practice without being charged with a season of participation.
Will student-athletes have access to sports medicine?
Yes, but access and services will be limited. All visits will require an appointment, and overall volume will be kept to a minimum. Whenever possible, rehabilitation guidance will shift toward athletic trainer designed “self-help” care. Social distancing, masking and hand-washing requirements will be strictly enforced.
Are there certain medical conditions, in relation to COVID-19, that might preclude me from participating in organized athletic activity?
Yes. As outlined in the NCAA Resocialization of Sport document, specific underlying medical conditions such as moderate to severe asthma, immunocompromised status, severe obesity, diabetes or additional heart, lung, kidney or liver disease have all been identified as conditions that may place an individual into a higher-risk category. It is recommended that individuals with increased risk factors refrain from participation in the early stages of organized athletic activity. The presence of increased risk factors may require additional documentation from your primary physician, and all final participation clearances are at the discretion of the health care providers at the college. This information is also included in the COVID-19 screening form which we would encourage you to have a discussion with your family medical provider and/or Transy Sports Medicine Staff and team physicians.
What happens if we have a positive test result on our team?
Student-athletes, coaches or athletics staff who test positive must follow isolation protocols set by the University and will be asked to assist with contact tracing. At minimum, a positive test triggers exclusion from team activities for a minimum of 10 days.
WINTER & SPRING SPORTS
Will spring sports still be able to hold their non-traditional seasons during the fall semester?
We are working through the protocols that will be necessary for this to happen.
What happens if I am a dual or tri sport student-athlete and my teams are all playing now in the same season?
The coaches you have for these multiple sports will meet then discuss with you what your options are.
CONSIDERATIONS FOR NOT RETURNING
What should I do with any uniform or apparel issued from the Athletic Department equipment room if I am not returning to campus in the fall?
We ask that you reach out to your coach to notify them of the equipment you have, and plans will be made to help you get it back to campus.
If a student-athlete chooses to take a semester or the entire year off, how does that affect their standing on their team?
A student’s standing on the team will be unaffected. It is hoped students will make the best decision for themselves. However, it is important that you could communicate what you are desiring to do with the compliance office to be sure that it will not negatively impact your eligibility. Additionally, if you take courses at another institution, we would want to be sure that you have discussed those courses with the Registrar and your advisor to be sure they are able to be transferred and will transfer for the courses you are desiring.
Will the fitness center in Beck and the new fitness center in the Campus Center be available?
We are anticipating opening the facilities this fall with new protocols to ensure health and safety including physical distancing, spacing out of fitness equipment, and regular cleaning and disinfecting of equipment and surfaces. The implementation of these protocols is likely to cause significant changes to the normal use of the facility. For example, some equipment and areas of the fitness center may not be available for use; masks will likely need to be worn for most activities; limits will be placed on the number of concurrent users and the duration of each visit; and advance reservations may be required to access the facility.
Will teams be allowed to travel off-campus for practice?
Student-athletes whose practice venues are off campus (i.e., Three Day Farm, Top Seed Tennis) will be permitted to practice off-campus by driving their personal car or by utilizing University vans with physical distancing required. Specifics will be coordinated with each team.