FGCU postpones fall sport competition schedule after ASUN decision

Author: FGCU Athletics
Published: Updated:

The ASUN Conference has announced Friday the postponement of the fall sport competition schedule and will work to fine tune resumption of competition in the spring as part of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This will affect FGCU’s cross country, men’s soccer, women’s soccer and volleyball programs.

This announcement does not affect the start of the winter sports, including the men’s and women’s basketball seasons, which remain scheduled to start in November. Both teams for FGCU are currently on campus and have undergone COVID-19 testing as they prepare to start preseason practice.

For sports that play in the fall but have their championship season in the spring (tennis, golf), the ASUN Presidents’ Council has also decided that there will be no fall intercollegiate competition for those programs as well.

“These decisions do not come lightly, however, our No. 1 priority as a conference and as an institution has been, and will always be, the well-being of our student-athletes,” said Director of Athletics Ken Kavanagh. “Certainly we have been doing everything within our power here at FGCU to make sure our student-athletes had a chance to compete this fall in a manner that put safety and their well-being first. We will now turn our attention to generating as best as possible an enjoyable opportunity for them to compete in the spring, while also making sure our winter and spring programs are also able to begin training as soon as they possibly can.”

Statements from FGCU fall sports head coaches

“Today’s news is never easy to receive and then deliver to our group of student-athletes who have worked so diligently to prepare for the season. Of all the fall sports, ours is probably the one that lends itself to successful training under protocols dealing with COVID-19 prevention and we were all looking forward to returning to a modified version of team workouts. We continue to be optimistic for our next chance to compete and our staff will continue working with our student-athletes to support them and help them maintain their well-being,” said Cassandra Goodson, the FGCU head coach of men’s and women’s cross country.

“As a coach, your first priority is the health and safety of your student-athletes. Having even a shortened season was something we had hoped was possible – not just for the chance to compete, but for our players to grow in their passion for soccer and continue building our team culture. As disappointed as we are at the announcement, we must now turn our focus into how to make this time a period of growth so that we can all come out of this stronger together,” said Jeff Cormier, the FGCU head coach of men’s soccer coach.

“The well-being and safety of our student-athletes is the most important factor behind any of these decisions and we will always support that pathway. This is an uncommon time, as we all know, and it lends itself to a need for difficult decisions to be made. I think our safety protocols and procedures at FGCU were putting us on the right track to play this year, but that’s only one part of the equation. It’s probably one of the toughest things as a coach to have to tell your team; that despite the work and dedication you’ve put in, something outside of your control is now taking away an opportunity,” said Jim Blankenship, the FGCU head coach women’s soccer.

“This is certainly not the outcome we had all been hoping for, but as you looked across the national landscape, it was one that seemed inevitable as each day passed. Our team was prepared for this possibility and knew that we would need to be flexible and adaptable based on the situation. So, that is what we do. We shift gears and focus our attention on the growth and development of our team, absent of the road map we had grown accustomed to. That doesn’t make it hurt any less for these student-athletes, but it does allow us to refocus our energy on something positive. The goals for the short term will look a little different but our commitment to one another remains stronger than ever,” said Matt Botsford, the FGCU head volleyball coach.

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