EWING, N.J. – In what is believed to be the first area college to take such drastic action, The College of New Jersey announced Friday that it was cancelling what it considered “high risk sports” this fall and winter.

That includes men’s and women’s soccer.

Other sports that have been shelved due to the COVID-19 pandemic include football, field hockey, wrestling and men’s and women’s basketball.

TCNJ President Dr. Kathryn A. Foster made the announcement in a campus-wide email.

“In keeping with TCNJ’s top priority of providing a safe environment for students, faculty and staff, the decision was made to cancel the following high-risk sports seasons for the fall semester: football, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, wrestling and men’s and women’s basketball,” according to a press release.

“The decision to cancel high-density, high-risk athletics activities was not taken lightly. Athletics are an important part of the campus experience, but the risk is too high and the consequences too great with the allowance of high-risk athletics activities.

“The TCNJ athletics program has enjoyed great success and is a source of pride in the campus community. There is hope that with new guidance, reductions in cases, and evidence that we can safely return to a full athletics program in the spring semester.”

TCNJ executive director of athletics Amanda DeMartino agreed and elaborated on the decision.

“These were not easy decisions for the college to make, but the health and safety of our student-athletes is our top priority,” she said in a statement. “I know how disappointing this news is for our student-athletes, coaches and staff, especially our seniors. We will continue our work to determine the next steps for TCNJ Athletics and find the best way to move forward through these challenging times.”

TCNJ is a member of 10-school The New Jersey Athletic Conference. Other schools in the conference include Montclair State University, New Jersey City University, Rutgers University-Newark, William Paterson University, Kean University, Rowan University, Rutgers University-Camden and Stockton University.

It was not immediately known as how TCNJ’s departure from the fall and winter schedules will impact the conference schedule or other school’s plans on going forward this fall.