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Cal State Remains Online, Conference Nixes Fall Sports

Brock Fritz

The California State University system is among the first entities to make significant decisions about the fall.

California State University chancellor Timothy P. White released a statement Tuesday saying that a majority of classes will remain online across California State’s 23 campuses to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Predominately there will be limited in-person experiential learning and research occurring on campuses for the fall 2020 term,” White said. “On some campuses and in some academic disciplines course offerings are likely to be exclusively virtual.”

There is room for adjustments, with CSU’s press release saying that schools will offer hybrid approaches and not all 23 campuses will follow the same blueprint. Potential in-person classes could include programs that require clinicals or hands-on experience. The Los Angeles Times reported that the CSU system is projecting losses of $337 million for the spring semester.

In the wake of CSU’s announcement, the California Collegiate Athletic Association released a statement Monday, saying that it won’t participate in sports in the fall of 2020. The CCAA, which competes in NCAA Division II sports, has 13 member schools — 12 of which are part of the CSU system.

“The CCAA member institutions will continue to advocate strongly to maintain NCAA championship opportunities for all of our student-athletes, including our fall sports, during the 2020-21 academic year and recommend competition resume when it is safe and appropriate to do so for all of its members,” said the joint statement from Chico State University president Dr. Gayle Hutchinson and CCAA commissioner Mitch Cox. “Additional information regarding plans for athletics in fall and spring will be communicated as soon as it becomes available.”

Fall sports are up in the air for the rest of the CSU institutions. Many officials, including NCAA president Mark Emmert, have said that college sports are unlikely to happen without students on campus. Emmert said last week that he doesn’t see a scenario in which sports return during an online-only teaching environment.

“College athletes are college students, and you can’t have college sports if you don’t have college [campuses] open and having students on them," Emmert said during a live conversation on the NCAA’s Twitter channel. "You don’t want to ever put student-athletes at greater risk than the rest of the student body.”

Related content: NCAA’s Emmert: No Sports Without Students on Campus

According to ESPN, a joint statement was released Tuesday by Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson, Fresno State president Joseph Castro, San Diego State president Adela de la Torre and San Jose State president Mary Papazian. Fresno State, San Diego State and San Jose State are all CSU members that play football in the Mountain West Conference. Cal Poly, Fullerton, Long Beach, Northridge, Sacramento and Bakersfield also compete in Division I athletics.

"Certainly, all conversations are led by academics, as well as public health and safety,” the statement read. “Within that framework, more determinations are necessary. All three institutions will work closely with the Mountain West. No decisions on athletics have been made."

Related content: Emmert: NCAA Won’t Mandate Uniform Start for Sports

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