The Northeast Conference has delayed the start date for fall sports return to play to Sept. 10 amid coronavirus concerns.
The Northeast Conference Council of Presidents announced a series of guidelines and recommendations, developed in conjunction with NEC athletic administrators and the NEC COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee.
The decision to return to play on Sept. 10 will be reevaluated by the NEC Council of Presidents in the coming weeks. They say evolving health crisis data and updated guidance from the federal, state, local and campus levels will play a role in their decision.
Football programs are allowed to play non-conference games before Sept. 10 per institutional discretion, according to the NEC.
The NEC also says overnight travel will be avoided when possible.
"With the health and safety of our campus and athletic communities at the forefront, the NEC Presidents are utilizing a set of guiding principles to assist in their decision-making around the resumption of sports this fall," said NEC Commissioner Noreen Morris. "With so many unknown factors at this point in time, the NEC has elected to delay the start of competition and take advantage of the extra time to continue to evaluate the local, regional and national landscape relative to COVID-19."
The NEC said their COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee, which is comprised of campus medical professionals and administrators, will continue to develop policies and protocols to support a safe return to play and to prevent the spread of the virus.