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UMPI announces fall sports plans

Published: Jul. 21, 2020 at 9:53 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -

The North Atlantic Conference has made a decision on the fall sports season. The NAC has announced there will not be conference contests or championships in any fall sport this coming semester. The Conference is allowing member schools to safely conduct athletics at their own discretion. University of Maine Presque Isle Athletic Director Dan Kane says he had a meeting with the UMPI athletes today and they are planning on proceeding with practices and hopefully games later in the fall.

Dan Kane:"It is not going to be a normal season. We are trying to do a season that is as safe as possible while also giving them somewhat of a normal experience. Part of that experience is outside competition if at all possible. It was pretty update. There are still some questions that need to be answered which we will continue to work on. Overall it seemed to be a positive meeting with our student-athletes."

While some schools have announced the suspension of fall sports other are planning on bringing athletes back on campus for conditioning and practices as they follow CDC Guidelines. UMPI athletes will be tested for COVID 19 when they arrive back on campus.Kane says The access to testing and regular testing was a contributing factor in the Owls decision to return to the practice field. The Athletic Director says that later in the fall they are hopeful they will be able to compete against other schools who are allowing student athletes back on campus for conditioning and practice.

Kane:” We thought at this time with Aroostook County being less affected by COVID-19 than the rest of the Country and our opponents being in similar situations that we wanted to prepare for games and leave that door open. We felt like if we prepared and were ready and things are going well we could have games. Games are two months away so we didn’t want to get to that point and say we should have prepared for games and didn’t.”

The NCAA and some conferences have toyed with the idea of moving some of the fall schedules to the spring, but schools like the University of Maine Presque Isle have a large number of athletes who play more than one sport.

Kane:”Trying to get the best season possible that is safe for our student-athletes in the fall. Keeping in mind that many of our fall athletes play a second sport in the spring. Trying not to put them in that situation where they have to pick. There is some of that talk if things don’t go well in the fall but right now our focus is on competing in the fall safely and get into competitions if at all possible.”

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