The Landmark Conference — of which the University of Scranton is a member — shared its initial plans for a return to sports amidst the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement released Monday.
The Landmark still intends to hold athletic competition in the spring of 2021. For all team sports, the goal is to play a league regular-season schedule with an expanded postseason tournament. For individual sports, the conference is exploring opportunities to hold championships safely and with additional precautions in place.
However, the conference will conduct league play and championships “if, and only if, a safe environment can be created by following all local and state requirements,” according to the statement. Also, the conference plans to adhere to the NCAA’s Sport Science Institute guidelines and recommendations for return to play.
“The safety of student-athletes, coaches, staff and the overall campus communities are the first priorities when planning a return to athletic activities and competition at any point during the 2020-21 academic year,” the statement said.
Tentative league schedules for men’s and women’s basketball and championships for swimming and diving and indoor track and field will be released by Dec. 4.
Schedules for fall and spring sports, as well as formats for women’s golf, men’s golf and outdoor track and field, will be shared by Dec. 31.
Each conference member will decide whether it will sponsor athletic competition in a given sport this spring, based upon local and state health guidelines and institutional policies. The conference said it is prepared to adjust schedules and make plans accordingly should any institution decide not to participate.
Besides Scranton, other members of the Landmark Conference include Catholic University, Drew University, Elizabethtown College, Goucher College, Juniata College, Moravian College and Susquehanna University.
Several NCAA Division III conferences already have announced the cancellation of their winter sports seasons: the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC); North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC); State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC); University Athletic Association (UAA); Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC); New England Women’s & Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC); and Liberty League.
During more than 30 years at The Times-Tribune, Scott has covered everything from high schools to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. His current beats include motor sports, local colleges, high school cross country and high school baseball. He also is a copy editor and page designer. His articles have won awards from the Associated Press Sports Editors, American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association, Eastern Motorsports Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists Keystone Pro Chapter and the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Keystone Press. He also has been honored by the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League and the Minor League Football Alliance. In 2016, he was presented the Media Service Award by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. A Long Island, New York, native, Scott graduated from the University of Scranton in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. He lives in Peckville with his wife, Andrea, and daughters, Bridget and Emily. Contact him at email@example.com; 570-348-9100, x5109; or @swalshTT on Twitter