Safety Stressed As W&L Cancels Fall Sports

Washington and Lee University announced on Friday that it will not compete in any athletic competition this fall.

W&L President Will Dudley addressed the university community regarding the school’s plan for a return to on-campus instruction this fall, a plan which includes policies limiting university travel and visitors to campus. Considering these measures to keep the students, faculty and staff as safe as possible, the decision was made that athletics competition cannot continue until at least Jan. 1.

The following sports are immediately impacted and will not have a schedule during the fall of 2020: men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball.

Additionally, the following sports will be impacted for portions of their schedule which would have been begun during the fall term: men and women’s basketball, equestrian, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s indoor track and field and wrestling.

The W&L Department of Athletics will continue to work with the W&L COVID-19 committee, the Athletics COVID-19 team, the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, the Centennial Conference (which includes W&L wrestling), infectious disease experts, and the NCAA to consider any options for competition for fall/ winter sports in the winter and/or spring.

“The university and the athletics department have been working tirelessly to prepare for a return to some semblance of routine and the sports we love, while keeping the health and safety of our student-athletes as the top priority,” said Jan Hathorn, director of athletics.

“As information regarding the transmission of the COVID-19 virus was continuously analyzed, university administration determined the most effective way to mitigate risk of exposure to our campus community was to restrict travel and visitors to campus, making it necessary to suspend competition for the fall semester,” she continued. “We realize that nothing can replace the joy of competition; however, our coaches, staff and administrators are committed to creating the best student-athlete experience possible, while upholding our commitment to the health and safety of the student-athletes. We will work through this adversity together and be a stronger team as a result.”