Towson University announces suspension of fall athletics season

TU leadership will continue to monitor COVID-19 guidance in making decisions

July 16, 2020


Towson University will not participate in fall intercollegiate competitive athletics, after the Colonial Athletic Association announced Friday that its Board of Directors voted to suspend conference play for football during the Fall 2020 season.

TU is also suspending the seasons of four other teams — field hockey, volleyball, cross country and soccer — that participate during the fall. The NCAA will determine decisions on the student-athlete clock. This decision will not affect the scholarship status for student-athletes.

In a message to student-athletes, coaches and athletics staff on Friday, Director of Athletics Tim Leonard reinforced that the safety and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and staff comes before all else.

“This decision was not made lightly,” athletic director Tim Leonard said. “I know the impact this will have on our student-athletes and the greater Towson community. It is going to be significant.  But it became evident to us during weeks, months, of discussions with the other athletic directors both in the CAA as well as in this region that it would be nearly impossible to play a full fall sports season. Therefore, we made to the decision to go ahead and suspend the fall sports season today. We will follow federal, state, and local guidelines as we are moving forward when we make an informed decision regarding the winter and spring sports.”

Said President Kim Schatzel: “While I’m most disappointed for our student athletes — who were working incredibly hard to prepare for the rigors of intercollegiate competition this fall — I am grateful for the leadership of TU Director of Athletics Tim Leonard as well our coaches and staff. We will continue to support our Tigers through this challenge and remain committed to our participation in NCAA Division I Athletics and our 19 teams.”

The possibility of schedules being played in spring 2021 will be explored. No decisions have been made regarding winter and spring schedules. Additionally, TU has declined to take advantage of an option left open by the CAA for member schools to pursue independent football schedules.

Friday’s news comes amid a stretch in which a number of intercollegiate athletic conferences — including the Ivy League, Patriot League and Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, among others — announced the postponement or cancelation of some or all fall athletics.

The athletic department is continuing operation and preparing for the winter season, while monitoring any new university, state and federal guidance during the pandemic. Athletes will return with all other students in preparation for fall classes, which are set to begin on August 24.

TU remains committed to providing support for its student-athletes throughout this unique time. Towson Athletics is home to 19 competitive Division I intercollegiate programs, supporting more than 500 student-athletes and boasting an NCAA graduation rate of 88 percent — which is tops among the USM’s Division I schools. The Tigers also set the standard for community service and volunteerism, earning an NCAA Teamworks Helper Helper national championship for most community service hours during the fall 2018 term. On the field, the Tigers are responsible for 29 CAA championships since joining the conference in 2001.

For additional information, visit Towson University’s coronavirus information page