Winter sports in the Colonial States Athletic Conference will not resume at least through the month of January, the league’s Board of Directors announced Monday night.

The decision was based upon the rising coronavirus rates across the region, as well as travel restrictions imposed by most states. The CSAC has 11 full-time member schools based in New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania, including Clarks Summit University and Keystone College.

Dr. Matthew Grimaldi, Keystone’s director of athletics, said the health, safety and well-being of the student-athletes is top priority.

“Whether it is we at Keystone, or the CSAC and athletic directors as a whole, we understand this is bigger than athletics,” Grimaldi said. “With the board making this announcement and these preventive measures, it is the correct action to take. It truly is.

“You can never make a wrong call with security and safety.”

While no formal schedules have been set yet, the board still intends to resume competition during the spring semester. However, it recognizes that any plans for a return will be dictated by local, state and federal pandemic protocols, recommendations and mandates.

“The presidents are really trying to find a way to give our basketball players some kind of experience,” Clarks Summit University director of athletics Wes Uffelman said. “Hopefully by February and maybe even March, that is the right time and the best time for all the institutions to be able to compete.”

Men’s and women’s basketball at both local schools are affected by the decision. Keystone also has wrestling and indoor track and field teams that compete during the winter season, but they are independent since the CSAC does not sponsor those sports.

Clarks Summit men’s basketball team so far canceled its first nine games, including a Dec. 10 matchup at James Madison University. The women’s team canceled its first 10 games.

Uffelman said it has been tough on the athletes, but they are adapting.

“It definitely is a very unique situation,” Uffelman said. “Nobody has gone through this before. There’s no roadmap, especially for the players.

“But all of our recruits that committed came, which was great. They’ve been working hard in practice and when the opportunity comes to play — if it comes — I have complete confidence that they’ll be ready to go.”