Dear Pfeiffer Pfamily,
As we begin to conclude what seems like a very long summer, we are excited about your arrival on campus in August. That said, we write to you today to inform you about recent decisions made by our athletic conference, the USA South Athletic Conference.
With health and safety a top priority, the USA South Athletic Conference's presidents have voted unanimously on Monday to postpone – rather than cancel – all fall sports conference competition until spring 2021. This decision comes after careful consideration of regional and national data related to COVID-19 cases and after careful study of the feasibility of adequate testing for student-athletes.
All fall championship sports are postponed. Fall championship sports include soccer, volleyball, and cross country. All other dual semester competition, including basketball, swimming, indoor track & field, golf, and tennis, is currently under review.
While we know some of you will be disappointed in our conference's ruling, we want you to know that we believe that in many ways, this is an opportunity. In 2020, though we are saddened and frustrated by many aspects of COVID-19, some opportunities have become apparent, too, and one of them is your opportunity for you to work out with your teammates while also spending a larger percentage of your time developing relationships and developing as a student. Typically, freshman student-athletes who participate in fall sports have less time to adjust to the rigors of college than do their counterparts in winter and spring sports. This Fall, however, we believe you will have the opportunity to have an ideal blend of time for growth in the area of academics, growth in the technical areas of your sports, and growth in the area of strength and conditioning – all while staying within guidelines provided to us by the NCAA, state officials, and even national entities such as the CDC.
As a part of the USA South Conference and the broader NCAA community, Pfeiffer supports these steps to protect our campus communities while fully encouraging our student-athletes to continue progressing toward graduation. The USA South intends to develop a plan to play as many contests as possible within the spring semester and conduct championship competition. For more information on the USA South's decision and answers to frequently asked questions, visit usasouth.net.
Athletic Related Activities
The NCAA will allow all student-athletes to practice and participate in outside competition this Fall without the loss of any eligibility. Per the NCAA ruling, decisions to practice and participate in outside competition shall be made on an institution-by-institution basis. At this time, Pfeiffer University Athletics is working to determine our best course of action. We want you to work out with your team, become stronger in the weight room, and continue to build your endurance – as we develop our plan to help you to continue to grow in a way that is safe, we will continue to communicate as information becomes available.
With newly granted official NCAA Division III status, Pfeiffer University holds firm to the DIII philosophy that places "the highest priority on the overall quality of the educational experience and the successful completion of all students' academic programs." Currently, your professors, in their off-season, are preparing for your return to the classroom. Like your professors, take a moment to contemplate what this semester may provide you as you will be able to engage fully in your academics, preparing your mind and body for a return to what will be intense athletic competition in the spring.
Welcome Home: A Return to Campus
Before returning to the classroom or athletic competition, we must commit ourselves to the well-being of our Pfeiffer Pfamily. Recently you received a communication unveiling a plan to return home to campus. In this plan are steps we will take together to be able to return to athletic competition. The Return to Campus plan requires that all campus community members wear a face mask and maintain social distancing at all times outside their residence hall or office. Meals will only be available through a to-go option. While these measures would have seemed foreign to us only a few months ago, it is our strong conviction that decades from now that they will be viewed as minor inconveniences that we simply had to endure for the good of our families, communities, region, and world. As a team member of the Pfeiffer Pfamily, it is through these simple actions that you will protect yourself and others, and it is through these actions that you will return to the field and/or the court sooner rather than later!
Friends, after a "summer" that in some ways has separated us from students since March, we could not be more excited to see you in August. Together, we are not only going to survive this period of our history, we are going to emerge from this as better students, stronger athletes, and more mature and tested citizens.