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Case Western Reserve cancels all fall sports seasons

Case Western Reserve University announced on Wednesday night that it has canceled all fall sports for the 2020 season.

CLEVELAND — Due to concerns regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Case Western Reserve University has canceled all of its fall sports for the 2020 season, including football, men's and women's soccer, volleyball, men's and women's cross country and men's and women's tennis.

CWRU Director of Athletics & Chair of Physical Education Amy Backus made the announcement in a letter to student-athletes on Wednesday.

"After extensive internal deliberation, consultation with health experts, and discussion with members of the University Athletic Association, we have determined that varsity and club athletic competition cannot take place safely this fall," Backus wrote.

According to the school, the missed season will not count against any player's college eligibility. Additionally, Case Western said that it is exploring models for some forms of intramural activity to continue. 

"Intercollegiate competition is an essential part of your undergraduate experience at CWRU and we have worked for months exploring ways to do this with the health and safety of our student athletes, coaches, and support staff as the top priority," Backus wrote. "Regrettably, this very difficult decision was made bearing those factors in mind. We as coaches and administrators know how very disappointing this news is and how much you have sacrificed to prepare for your upcoming seasons. We too, wish things were different and that we could all be together cheering you on to many successes.

"We know that you and perhaps your parents will have many questions and in the coming weeks we will do our best to provide as much information as possible to you. Many details are yet to be worked out."

CWRU's announcement comes as sports programs across the nation contemplate how they will get back on the field this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to Case Western, Oberlin College has also canceled its fall sports seasons, while Ohio State announced on Wednesday that it is temporarily pausing offseason workouts after a number of student-athletes tested positive for the coronavirus.

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