By Michael Lewis
Williams College Monday joined a growing list of schools that have cancelled their fall season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
That includes men’s and women’s soccer teams that participate in the New England Small College Athletic Conference.
Over the weekend, The College of New Jersey said that it has cancelled the fall and winter seasons and Bowdoin College in New England went the same route last week.
In a letter written to the Williams community on the college’s website, President Maud S. Manel said that while students will be allowed to return to campus in the fall, sports team will not be allosed to compete.
“Our decision has been guided by the utmost attention to safety protocols to ensure the health and safety of our athletes, coaches, staff and community,” Manel said in the letter. “Knowing how important athletics is in the lives of many students, we hope to provide opportunities for team engagement.
“Teams will be able to practice outside in small groups if they adhere to social distancing guidelines and may progress to more game-like practice activities if conditions improve.”
The school also said it is hopeful that winter sports team can begin practicing on Oct. 15, but a decision on playing won’t be made until later in the fall.
Williams College’s athletic nickname is the Ephs. It is a Division III school.
Recently, Appalachian State cut its men’s soccer program as a victim of the pandemic.