BALTIMORE - In accordance with guidance from University System of Maryland and public health leaders working to limit the spread of COVID-19, UMBC Athletics' varsity teams will not participate in intercollegiate competitions or practices for the entirety of the spring 2020 semester.
Retriever Athletics will also postpone the 2020 Hall of Fame Inductions, scheduled for April 10, 2020. The event will be rescheduled as a featured part of the 2020-21 athletics' calendar.
Director of Athletics Brian Barrio has shared the following letter with UMBC's student-athletes:
Dear Retriever Student-Athletes:
As of today, UMBC has made the decision to suspend all Spring 2020 Retriever Athletics practices, meetings, and competitions to protect our community during the global COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis.
This is not a decision made lightly – we know how hard you and your coaches have worked to prepare for this season and how much you want to compete this spring. However, there are times when our responsibilities as community members rise above our personal desires. In light of the national and global health emergency unfolding right now, it is clear that this is one of those times. Today, our number one priority is protecting the campus community (including you) from the spread of COVID-19.
At this time, the University has cancelled all in-person classes through at least April 5, and is taking every possible step to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Based on the information currently available from medical professionals, the virus appears to be highly transmissible. Exposing our student-athletes to extensive regional travel and shared contact with sports equipment and locker room facilities across the region puts our student-athletes at risk in a way that does not fit with the university's values.
For international students, or those whose permanent residence is in an area of the U.S. dealing with community spread of COVID-19, or who for any other reason feel safer staying on campus, we will assist you in seeking an exemption from the requirement to leave campus. You can work with your coach and with Jessica Hammond on that process. For those that remain on campus while the campus remains operational, the weight room and other athletic facilities will be available for voluntary workouts on a modified schedule that ensures your ability to use them safely via social distancing.
My hope and expectation is that the NCAA will soon offer some guidance and flexibility on seasons of eligibility and other eligibility issues. We do not have answers on those issues yet, but the time will come when we can start to address them. When that time comes, Whitney Ames and the rest of our administrative staff will work closely with your coaches to make sure you are placed in the best situation possible with regard to the remainder of your collegiate athletic career. Thank you for your understanding as we navigate this challenge together. We look forward to the day soon when our focus can turn back to watching you compete on the playing fields.