Presque Isle, ME – UMPI athletics still plan to bring back winter sports teams on January 16th, to begin practices and prepare for a non-conference schedule. The student athletes will follow campus protocols for returning to campus, which includes testing on arrival and quarantining until a negative test result is returned.
Due to the state of the pandemic at this time, North Atlantic Conference school presidents determined that it is not feasible to conduct a NAC regular or postseason basketball schedule with members spread across three states.
The health and safety of student athletes, coaches, staff, and local communities remains a priority. As such, members agreed to adopt common safety practices for competition in addition to adhering to NCAA guidelines, and will prioritize fellow conference schools when developing independent competition schedules.
"We appreciate the hard work done by athletics administrators, athletic trainers, and conference office staff to develop schedule options and safety protocols with respect to contesting a conference basketball season," said Presidents' Council Chair Ray Rice, also the president at UMaine-Presque Isle. "The Council ultimately determined the safest course of action is to allow each school to provide competitive opportunities for student athletes in a way that works best for each campus."
Presidents previously endorsed plans for playing traditional fall sports on a smaller scale throughout the spring semester, with the understanding that adjustments may be needed. UMPI fall sports include men's and women's soccer, women's volleyball, men's and women's cross country, and men's golf.
Previously approved spring sport schedules and championships remain in place while contingency planning is underway in the event adjustments are needed. UMPI spring sports include baseball, softball, men's and women's outdoor track & field.
Presidents will reconvene in mid-to-late February to determine if changing course is needed for fall, or spring sports.
Click here for the link to the full NAC release