RPI to not participate in Fall intercollegiate sports
Rensselaer announced they will not be participating in intercollegiate athletics this fall as part of the Return-to-Campus Plan. Intramural and recreational sports will need to align with federal, state, county, and institutional health and safety protocols, but general campus gatherings outside of classroom and lab settings are limited to fewer than 10 people. Decisions regarding Winter 2020 and Spring 2021 intercollegiate athletics have yet to be made.
An athletics COVID-19 FAQ posted on RPI’s athletics website clarifies that the implemented rules will not differ between non-contact and contact sports. While there will be no competition, Rensselaer expects that coaches will be allowed to meet with their teams and anticipates “the opportunity to participate in individual and small group workouts” of less than 10 individuals. Appointments will be required and “all rooms within the athletic facilities” will be utilized, combined with the implementation of cleaning and safety protocols.
The ability for students to participate with the team is dependent on their ability to be on campus, which means that sophomores cannot participate in the Fall, and juniors cannot participate in the Spring semester. Sophomore and junior athletes will only be able to participate in the part of the season which aligns with the semester they are assigned to be on campus.
Class of 2022 Spring sport athletes who plan on graduating with their cohort had their 2020 season cut short and also will not be allowed to compete in the Spring 2021 season due to RPI’s plan to have juniors take their Spring semester away for the Arch program. This means that Class of 2022 Spring sport athletes will only be able to participate in a maximum of 2 seasons during their time at Rensselaer, if students choose to graduate with their cohort in four years.
The decision to cancel Fall intercollegiate sports means that practicing will not use one of the four semesters of NCAA eligibility, but students enrolled full-time during Fall 2020 will use one semester of their 10 semester eligibility window, to compete in eight semesters of NCAA sports.