The Presidents Council of the American Rivers Conference announced today its intention to conduct full intercollegiate athletics programs for the 2020-21 academic year. The announcement was made following the league’s annual spring governance cycle that took place by virtual meetings of the conference’s athletics administrators and faculty athletics representatives. The Presidents Council’s spring meeting will take place Wednesday, May 27, 2020.
“We will be using our spring meetings to coordinate our approach to full conference competition, both for the regular season and our post-season tournaments,” said Chuck Yrigoyen, commissioner of the American Rivers Conference. “Safety is our primary consideration as we provide a robust competitive experience for our student-athletes, coaches, athletics staff, officials, fans and everyone directly involved in A-R-C sports.”
A-R-C institutions plan to honor all scheduled non-conference contests with the same attention to health and well being as conference play. “Our athletics community knows our level of commitment to athletics has always been extremely high,” Yrigoyen continued. “We are in full preparation mode on behalf of that community and look forward to the day we welcome everyone back. We urge everyone to practice all known mitigation steps in your daily lives as we move forward against the virus.”
The Presidents Council and A-R-C will pay special attention to directives and guidance from federal, state and local governments as there is the possibility of future waves and outbreaks of COVID-19. Decisions will be made accordingly for the conference's nine schools heading into preseason practice and then competition.
“The announcement by the Presidents Council that the A-R-C is committed to do everything possible to create a safe return to our campuses for all students and provide a safe environment for student-athletes to compete is exciting news,” said Renae Hartl, Luther College director of athletics. “From the very beginning of this pandemic, I have been impressed by the daily efforts of our coaches as they have assisted and encouraged our 500-plus student-athletes remotely. We have been braving this storm together with hopes of returning and representing Luther College on the athletic fields. Today’s announcement is one step closer to having those hopes come true. We have a lot to consider and plan for, but we are going to do the work that will put us in the best possible position to begin the athletics home schedule with a soccer doubleheader against St. Olaf on September 1.”