Fisk University Fall 2020 Sports Decision
Fisk University is currently engaged in planning for the 2020-2021 academic year and announced that the University will resume modified on-campus instruction this Fall.
Fisk values the important role of varsity athletics in the educational experience of our students. Unfortunately, due to health and safety concerns, Fisk will not be able to participate in traditional varsity athletics competition during the fall. Student-athletes who live on campus will be able to practice and train within relevant guidelines. The athletics department may explore limited inter-squad competitions for varsity sports where it is feasible. No decision has been made regarding winter or spring seasons at this time, though winter sports teams may not be competing during the fall segment of their season.
Student-athletes will practice and workout with our strength and conditioning coach during this time, as well. However, club sports will not be available in the fall. Fisk University continues to work with the local Board of Health to monitor the situation locally. The University and athletics department are also following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is providing general information on the coronavirus and what you need to know.
This section will be updated as more information becomes available
Will there be a full season of competition for fall sports?
Unfortunately, due to health and safety concerns, Fisk will not be able to participate in traditional varsity athletics competition during the fall. Student-athletes who live on campus will be able to practice and train within relevant University and State guidelines, as well as those outlined in the NAIA Policy Handbook (https://d2o2figo6ddd0g.cloudfront.net/b/p/2as8t3nheinrul/NAIA-2019Official-Handbook.pdf#page=24)
When will I return to campus? What about preseason?
Men’s Soccer, Women’s Volleyball, freshmen and transfer student-athletes that are permitted to stay on campus will arrive with other students on July 30, 2020. There will be no fall athletics preseason.
Will fall sports have the opportunity to compete at a different time during the year?
Fisk University is committed to providing every opportunity for all of our student-athletes to compete but no decision has been made at this time regarding the viability of an alternative playing season for fall competition and there is currently no timetable for this decision. An alternative playing season will be determined by the NAIA.
What about winter and spring sports?
No decision has been made regarding winter or spring seasons at this time
Does practice include Sports Performance?
The Sports Performance staff intends to hold modified Strength & Conditioning sessions for student-athletes. The schedule will be different from past years to allow for increased sanitation and social distancing procedures as well as the use of outdoor spaces. Additional safety procedures will be communicated to student-athletes by the Sports Performance staff.
How does this decision affect my NAIA eligibility?
According to NAIA rules, student-athletes would not use a season of participation if they did not compete during the fall season. In addition, a student-athlete shall complete their seasons of participation during the first 10 semesters or 15 quarters in which the student is enrolled in at least a minimum full-time program of studies at a collegiate institution, as determined by the institution. This includes being enrolled full time taking virtual classes.
What will it look like to participate/practice this fall?
We will follow the current NAIA guidelines regarding practice season, as we begin practices and team activities this fall. All team activities will begin in Phase I, which calls for increased physical distancing, mask-wearing, and no sharing of equipment. We anticipate individual and small group workouts (limited to 10 people or fewer) with a modified schedule to allow for increased cleaning efforts. Public Health, State and University guidelines will dictate our progression to Phases II and III, which includes increased group sizes, with physical distancing, and increased access to equipment and indoor facilities.
If I am enrolled and live off-campus can I still participate in practice and team activities?
Yes! All student-athletes will go through the COVID-19 screening process before each practice. Additionally, student-athletes will be tested periodically during the semester.