Dear Varsity Athletes,
It is with deep regret that I write to inform you that the Athletics & Recreation Working Group has decided that UChicago's varsity teams will not participate in fall and winter sports competition during the upcoming Autumn Quarter. While this is a very disappointing outcome of the careful and deliberate process to evaluate the feasibility of a fall season, it reflects the most current public health and epidemiological guidance from the CDC, Illinois and Chicago public health agencies, NCAA, and specialists from UChicago Medicine. Moreover, UAA's announcement last week about the fall conference schedule, the city of Chicago's emergency travel order, and the limited availability of regional non-conference opponents led the Working Group, which includes members of the coaching staff, to conclude that there is not a realistic scenario in which we can appropriately conduct competition at this time.
Despite this development, we are planning to provide meaningful opportunities this fall for you to work with your coaches and teammates through in-person practice and strength and conditioning programs. Our plan is to bring invited fall athletes to campus on September 2 to begin a phased-in program to enable students to safely return to conditioning and practice. Our coaches are working hard to find opportunities for you to pursue your passion for your team and sport this coming quarter, despite these unprecedented and extremely disappointing circumstances.
The Working Group will continue to evaluate plans for scheduled practice for winter and spring sport teams and possible competition in 2021, to develop recommendations for the opening of athletic facilities, and to assess the feasibility of offering intramural and recreational sports during the upcoming academic year.
I know this is not the news you were hoping to hear. We will miss watching you compete this fall, but your health and safety is our primary concern.
A Q&A page that will address many of your questions has been posted on the website. I encourage you to reach out to your coaches if you have additional questions and ask that you support one another as you come to terms with this difficult news.
Interim Director of Athletics and Recreation