Patriot League cancels spring practices and competitions
AU track, lacrosse seasons cancelled
This article has been updated with new information about winter sports cancellations.
American University has canceled its all of its spring sports effective immediately in response to growing concerns over the COVID 19 novel coronavirus. The decision came shortly after the Patriot League announced Thursday morning that it would cancel all spring practices and competitions, effective March 16.
“Recognizing that the health and safety of our students and broader communities is our priority, and based on the ongoing spread of COVID 19 (2019 novel coronavirus), the Patriot League Council of Presidents has made the difficult and challenging decision to cancel all spring athletics practices and competitions through the remainder of the academic year,” the Patriot League said in the statement.
The decision ends the season for women’s lacrosse and both cross country and track teams. The wrestling team is still expecting to compete at the NCAA championships next week.
Unlike the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, which have decided to continue without fans, or the NBA and MLS, which have suspended their seasons, the Patriot League has decided to cancel the season. The Patriot League joins the Ivy League in its decision to cancel spring sports.
The Patriot League’s decision will cut short the season for women’s lacrosse who was off to their best start in program history (7-0). The team has canceled its conference opener Saturday against Lafayette.
The track team has pulled out of the Coastal Carolina Invitational Outdoor Track meet in South Carolina, which was slated to begin on Friday. The team is still in South Carolina.
The AU track and cross country team put out a statement on Twitter Thursday morning.
On Thursday afternoon, the NCAA canceled all remaining winter and spring championships in response to the virus. The NCAA announced an initial plan on Wednesday to hold the matches without a live audience but ultimately changed its decision based on the “evolving public health threat” that COVID-19 poses.
“This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities.”
This marks the end of the season for AU’s wrestling program, who had initially planned to send four wrestlers — redshirt juniors Kizhan Clarke (149), Tanner Harvey (184) and Gage Curry (125) and redshirt senior Sal Profaci (141) — to the NCAA Championships next week.
As a result of the decision, Profaci’s career wrestling at AU is over. After spending three years wrestling at the University of Michigan, Profaci transferred to AU for his final season. He finished the season with a 26-9 record and ranked No. 23 in the country at his weight class.