The College of Southern Maryland announced that outdoor sports competition for the spring 2021 semester will proceed. Those sports in play will include baseball, softball, golf, men's lacrosse (club), and men's and women's soccer. However, after reviewing the current conditions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, CSM is suspending competition for their indoor athletic programs, which include men's and women's basketball and volleyball, for the spring 2021 semester.
"Our athletes want to get back to competing, and so do we," Acting Dean for Student Development Michelle Ruble said, adding that the pandemic continues to challenge all aspects of student life. "While we are all excited to get our outdoor sports underway, we certainly wish the news could be different for the indoor athletes of basketball and volleyball, but safety is, and will always be, our first priority."
Baseball, softball, and men's lacrosse will begin practicing the week of Feb. 8. Golf and men's and women's soccer will begin practicing the week of Feb. 15.
The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Board of Regents voted in October 2020 that all 2020-21 NJCAA sport seasons (fall, winter, spring) will not count toward student-athlete eligibility. The eligibility relief is provided to all NJCAA student-athletes regardless of sport season participation in the 2020-21 academic year.
"The Board of Regents feels this decision is best for the success and well-being of our student-athletes and member colleges at this time," Dr. Christopher Parker, NJCAA President & CEO, said in a release posted on their website. "There is no right answer to this challenge and situation, but as an association, we are going to support the eligibility of all our student-athletes to help them succeed in their academic and athletic careers."
Returning student-athletes will be considered "non-counters" for letter of intent and NJCAA eligibility purposes, according to the statement.
"The uncertainty surrounding the pandemic has put collegiate sports in a very challenging situation," Troy Tucker, NJCAA Eligibility Committee Chair, said. "[The] decision by the Board of Regents to grant a blanket year of participation waiver provides our institutions and student-athletes with the ability to choose to participate this academic year without the fear of using a year of eligibility for a potentially shortened or interrupted season."