St. John’s athletics: Big East Conference cancels all fall sports events

The Big East logo on a basketball court as St. John's athletics have been canceled in the fall. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
The Big East logo on a basketball court as St. John's athletics have been canceled in the fall. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** /

All St. John’s athletics have been canceled in the fall as the Big East Conference is postponing all sporting events.

Another domino has fallen in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic as the Big East Conference has canceled all fall sporting events.

The conference announced the decision on Wednesday evening in a statement as fellow major conferences, the Big Ten and Pac-12 canceled its fall sports on Tuesday. The Pac-12 went as far to canceling all sports, regardless of season, through the end of the calendar year.

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“Due to the unprecedented and continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the BIG EAST Conference and its member institutions have announced that fall sports competition will not be conducted in 2020,” the statement from the conference read.

However, the Big East will be looking to hold its fall sports season in the Spring of 2021 if the current situation improves.

The conference also said, “the decision was made in consultation with the BIG EAST COVID-19 Task Force, an intra-conference medical advisory group that includes administrators, doctors, athletic trainers, student-athletes and national experts in global pandemics and infectious diseases.”

Sports that will have its seasons affected by the cancelation are men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, volleyball and field hockey while offseason games and competitions in baseball, softball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse, and men’s and women’s tennis will also not be held.

Athletes and teams are still allowed to practice and train despite the cancelation of the season as long as they abide by its campus health policies, public health guidelines, and NCAA and Big East health and safety regulations.

No decision has been made on any other seasonal sport, including basketball, as NCAA Vice President Dan Gavitt said on Wednesday that there will be a 2021 NCAA Tournament.

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St. John’s Athletic Director Mike Cragg also released a statement on the conference’s decision to cancel all fall sports, “St. John’s fully supports the actions taken by the BIG EAST Presidents this afternoon and recognizes that the decision to cancel competition this fall was difficult and challenging.”

Cragg, a member of the St. John’s and Big East’s COVID-19 Task Forces, also said, “I know that our conference leadership’s daily focus has been on the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff as we continue to navigate through this global pandemic.”

This decision comes five months to the day in which the Big East canceled its Men’s Basketball Tournament at halftime between St. John’s and Creighton because of the pandemic and shortly after March 12 Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman said that a decision regarding the 2020-21 basketball season would most likely have to come around Labor Day.

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As conferences around the country look to put contingency plans into place for the remainder of the 2020 calendar year and going forward, we will all hope to get a safe return to college sports in the near future.