Empire 8, a Division III college conference comprised of Alfred University, Elmira College, Hartwick College, Houghton College, Keuka College, Nazareth College, Russell Sage College, St. John Fisher College and Utica College, announced Thursday that it will not hold a fall season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The continued evolution of the virus has presented significant new challenges for safe athletics competition," read a statement from the conference's presidents council.
The council voted unanimously to postpone all fall competition — cross country, field hockey, football, men's golf, soccer, women's tennis and women's volleyball. Individual institutions "continue to have the ability to engage in athletic-related activity this fall to provide beneficial opportunities for their student-athletes and teams in accordance with local health policy."
Empire 8 football also includes nationally-ranked Brockport, Morrisville and Cortland.
The conference "is committed to providing all fall student-athletes with a meaningful conference regular season and championship tournament experience in the spring of 2021 provided it is safe to do so. We are currently developing models and conference schedules to prepare for a successful experience. The health and wellness of our athletes and our campus communities will continue to be a top priority as we finalize those plans."