Due to the unprecedented nature and scope of the global coronavirus pandemic, the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) announced today that it has canceled all conference activities and championships for the remainder of the 2019–2020 academic year, effective immediately. As a result, Wells College has been forced to cancel all upcoming conference and non-conference games, including those for the baseball, men’s and women’s lacrosse, softball and men’s volleyball teams.
“Wells, like so many other colleges and universities, has had to make a number of difficult decisions in recent days,” said President Jonathan Gibralter. “While the COVID-19 public health crisis leaves us no other choice, I am sincerely sorry that our teams will not have the opportunity to close out their seasons as they had hoped to do,” he added.
Athletics director Michael Lindberg shared the news with Wells student-athletes in a letter this evening. “Words cannot express my disappointment and heartfelt sorrow, especially for our senior student-athletes,” Lindberg said. “It has been a privilege and an honor to watch you play. You have represented your team, your family and Wells College with class and extraordinary dignity,” he added.
In a statement released this evening by the NEAC Presidents’ Council, it has “made the difficult decision to cancel all conference activities and championships for the remainder of the 2019–20 academic year, effective immediately.” The statement added that NEAC will be working with its member institutions in the coming days to “navigate through unchartered territory for our members and answer any questions that may arise.” (President Gibralter is a member of the NEAC Presidents’ Council.)
In its own statement this afternoon, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) canceled all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships, including the March Madness basketball tournament. It based its decision 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.”
The sudden cancelation of its athletic teams’ seasons comes one day after Wells College announced that spring break was being extended one week for its students, along with restrictions on campus gatherings and events.
To help communicate with the broader community, the College created a COVID-19 web page (wells.edu/covid-19-updates), which will be updated regularly with additional information and announcements as the situation evolves.
More information will be posted on the Wells College Athletics website (wells-express.com) as it becomes available.