We hope this message finds you healthy and enjoying the summer break. Yesterday, you received important announcements about the University's and College's plans for the Autumn 2020 Quarter. We look forward to welcoming you back to campus and are committed to support you in your academic, co-curricular and athletic pursuits.
To that end, we are co-leading a working group focused on determining how to resume our varsity athletic programs for 2020-21 with health and safety as a top priority. This group includes some of your coaches, sports medicine experts, and administrators with responsibilities for athletic facilities, housing, and dining; in its work, the group will use guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, Illinois and Chicago public health agencies, the NCAA's Sports Science Institute, and specialists from UChicago Medicine. We are also closely engaged with our peers in the University Athletic Association and Midwest Conference and monitoring pre-fall season developments at other colleges and universities. Our immediate goal is to develop a plan for returning athletes to practice and competition in August and September given health and safety guidelines.
While we are optimistic that we can produce a workable proposal for our varsity sports, we are fully aware that any plans we make are subject to many dynamic variables, not least of which is the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic in the months ahead. Even in the best-case scenarios, this year's varsity athletics program will look and feel very different from normal years. For example, it is very likely that many of our teams will participate in fewer competitive events, play more non-conference opponents, and travel far less. Training and practice must be adjusted to adhere to guidelines for minimizing exposure and spread of the coronavirus, and success will depend on everyone in Athletics & Recreation taking responsibility for behaviors that not only ensure personal health and safety, but also the health and safety of peers, coaches, staff, and opponents. We must also be prepared for the possibility that some seasons may have to end early or be canceled altogether. We recognize and respect that with all of this uncertainty, some of you may choose not to participate in your sport this year. This is your decision to make, and we will unconditionally support whichever choice you make.
We look forward to providing you with updates in the weeks ahead, particularly as they pertain to key dates and activities for the fall sports pre-season. Until then, please do not hesitate to contact us or your coaches if you have any questions.
Dean of Students in the University
Interim Director of Athletics & Recreation