FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — The PacWest Conference announced Friday that it is postponing fall sports until after January 1, 2021, affecting Fresno Pacific University athletics.
The move to postpone is due to concerns arising from the challenges surrounding COVID-19, the conference said.
Fall sports include include men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball.
“The health and safety of our student-athletes is our top priority,” PacWest Commissioner Bob Hogue said. “We remain committed to giving all of our student-athletes a positive competitive experience as much as possible.”
Teams will still be allowed to conduct workouts, practices, strength and conditioning, and access to their athletic training staff at their own discretion, as local and state guidelines permit.
The conference said options for moving fall sport schedules into the winter/spring are being developed and reviewed.
Aaron Henderson, Fresno Pacific’s Director of Athletics, said the move to delay fall sports was a “very tough decision and one that was not made lightly.”
“However, we will continue to work at providing the best possible experience for our student-athletes and staff with the circumstances at hand,” he added. “We look forward to returning to competition as soon as possible once it is safe to do so.”
A decision on the start of the 2020-21 winter sports season, as well as non-championship segments of spring sports, is expected by October 1.
“At FPU, we believe that our identity is so much more than athletics alone,” Henderson said. “We will continue to pursue the holistic development of our student-athletes and staff as we continue to strive to be a Christ-Centered, Student-Serving, Community-Focused department regardless of what the rest of the academic year may hold.”
The university said that while their aquatics program is not part of the PacWest Conference, it is expected to follow the guidelines of other sports in the same season.