The University of Alaska Anchorage announced today the Seawolves’ indoor winter sports teams will not compete during their respective 2020-21 seasons due to the ongoing health risks and increasing protocol restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I weighed many factors and relied upon the guidance of public health officials to make the very difficult decision that our indoor winter sports teams would not compete this season,” said UAA Chancellor Cathy Sandeen. “My first priority is the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and athletics staff. I know this is a disappointment. Our student-athletes have continued to work hard each day in the midst of much uncertainty due to the ongoing pandemic. I am proud of the resilience they have shown.”
Affected sports include men’s and women’s basketball and men’s and women’s indoor track (GNAC), men’s hockey (WCHA) and women’s gymnastics (MPSF). The Seawolves’ men’s and women’s ski teams, which practice and compete in both Nordic and Alpine events, will have the opportunity to begin their outdoor seasons later in the month.
Decisions on the fall sports of volleyball and cross country, previously postponed in July and considered for GNAC conference play during the spring season, will be made at a later date. The same is true for UAA’s sole spring sport of outdoor track and field.
The NCAA has already ruled that student-athletes of both fall and winter sports will retain an additional year of eligibility due to the widespread disruption that COVID-19 has caused in college athletics this year.
“Coronavirus has proven to be a merciless opponent with a simple game plan to spread with stealth and speed,” Director of Athletics Greg Myford said. “Although we all want to beat this thing right now, today’s decision is about making the responsible choices and taking the required steps to guard against losing to it.”