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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Athletics

Updated July 28, 2020

WNE Athletics has created this list of Frequently Asked Questions for all to review to help you navigate some of the concerns you have echoed regarding the recent decision to suspend Fall competition. All of this information is subject to change based on the changing guidance and restrictions put in place by state and local authorities, as well as changes in legislation within the NCAA. For the most up to date information, check with your head coach or a member of the athletics administrative team.

The announcement states that Fall competition is cancelled, what about Winter and Spring sports competitions?
This decision specifically deals with competitions that would have taken place during the Fall semester. The earliest scheduled competition will be January 1st. Further discussion on scheduling and when conference play will officially start are still underway and will be made available as soon as that information becomes clear. Sports that play their traditional seasons in the Spring are still scheduled to compete as planned.

What happens in the Fall semester for Winter and Spring sports?
You will be able to participate in athletically related team activities with your team during the Fall semester. The NCAA is working on numerous pieces of permissive legislation to clarify exactly what the parameters for participation in the fall will look like. Until then, the athletics staff and coaches are working hard to determine exactly what those practices and timelines will look like.

What does “organized athletic activities with their teams and under the direction of their head coach” mean? Can we practice? Scrimmage?
The language is worded like this because we will follow the guidance by the NCAA and state and local authorities on what “practice” can look like while in the COVID environment. We will need to adhere to physical distancing and non-contact protocols as described in these recommendations. You will be able to work with your head coach and your teammates doing sport specific activities. It will be a modified practice experience. Guidance and timing on intrasquad scrimmages is to be determined.

Will Fall sport athletes still have a preseason?
Right now, the plan is for all students (student-athletes included) to return to campus with the rest of the campus. Considering competition won’t take place until Jan. 1 at the earliest, there is no need for a traditional preseason for Fall athletes. Specific information regarding move in day and timelines can be found here https://www1.wne.edu/residence-life/opening-weekend.cfm. If you have questions about returning to campus, travel restrictions or something similar, be on the lookout for information as it becomes available on the COVID-19 information page on
www.wne.edu.

Do I still need to get all of my preseason compliance, NCAA, and medical paperwork done before I get back?
Yes. All the information we have requested you complete and return is still necessary. You can find a link to the requirements here:
https://wnegoldenbears.com/student-athlete-info/student-requirements/index

What impact will all of this have on my eligibility with the NCAA?
The NCAA has proven to be flexible during this pandemic environment and coaches and administrators are lobbying for changes to be made that will allow even more flexibility. You may remember that during the unfortunate suspension of the Spring season last year, the NCAA waived years of participation for those student athletes. The NCAA has already made changes to allow for participation in the fall as well as not penalizing student athletes for partial seasons. Many conferences have petitioned the NCAA for legislation to be even more permissive moving forward. As information is released, we will keep your coach informed. Should you have specific questions David Proulx, Assistant Director of Athletics, handles our compliance duties, he will be available to help.

Will we have access to the AHLC and the Locker Rooms? What restrictions will be in place inside the buildings?
We will release information about the plan to open the AHLC for recreational/personal use as soon as it becomes finalized. Once plans are finalized, we will communicate via our website and social channels.

I’m a multi-sport athlete, can I participate with both of my teams during the Fall semester?
Yes. NCAA legislation does not restrict you from practicing with multiple teams at the same time. You are, however, restricted to a specific number of days you are allowed to practice per week. Our team is working to determine exactly how NCAA rules will apply to the Fall. More information will be coming in the near future. Stay in contact with your coach(es) for the most up to date information.

Will I be able to go shoot around/play pickup/use the backgym?
See above in question 7. We will announce plans for access to the AHLC for all activity that isn't associated with formal Athletics or Recreation programming.

Will we have fans at our games in the Spring?
While it is our best hope that we can return to some sense of normalcy in the Spring, we won’t have a clear picture of what the Spring will look like until we get closer and until we have an idea of what the virus situation is at that point. We will keep you all informed along the way.

What will our strength and conditioning program look like?
We are working with Geoff Sullivan at CPC to coordinate a plan that will allow us to hold as many strength and conditioning sessions as possible in the Fall. These sessions will take place at a variety of locations, both indoors and outside. You can expect that the size of the groups, type of activities and locations will all be based on factors such as physical distancing, shared use of equipment and consistent groupings of people in order to minimize chance of spreading of the virus.

What about my job in Athletics and Recreation? Will I still be able to work?
There are some types of positions that will not be needed in the fall, but there are other areas where we will need additional help. We will work with our staff to provide as many opportunities as possible to our returning staff and new incoming applicants. Please talk with your supervisor before you return to campus for that person to explain how operations will take place, for the Fall specifically. Many things are changing in student employment, both related and unrelated to COVID-19. Regardless, all student employment opportunities will be posted on the new employment website called Cornerstone. Be sure to reach out to Human Resources for more information about Cornerstone including how to access and navigate the new system.

What will the pandemic related guidelines be for practice, will I be wearing a mask?
Detailed plans and guidelines are in the works and will be communicated to your coaches. Your coaches will determine the best way to hold practice and how to follow the given guidelines. Each coach will be working with administration to develop how they want to conduct practice under the given guidelines and those plans will be reviewed and approved. All plans and protocols will incorporate information and guidelines developed by state and local experts based on the best ways to minimize the spread of the virus.