Cambridge, Mass. (February 11) -- MIT director of athletics/DAPER department head Dr. G. Anthony Grant announced today that MIT will not compete in spring sports for the spring 2021 semester due to ongoing health and safety concerns stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic. This will impact baseball, men's heavyweight crew, men's and women's lightweight crew, women's openweight crew, men's and women's lacrosse, sailing, softball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's outdoor track and field and men's volleyball.
"Due to the continued spread and high number of Covid-19 cases throughout the state and across the country, we have made the difficult decision to cancel athletics competition for the spring sports season," said Dr. Grant. "While we remain optimistic for the future as the national distribution of the vaccine is underway, institutional health and safety protocols, which include travel and visitor restrictions, will remain in place for the spring term. In making this decision, we have also taken into account all of the current state and federal restrictions and guidelines."
The department is currently working with MIT Medical and other campus partners on a plan to allow teams to participate in modified in-person training and conditioning during the semester, which is consistent with NCAA Resocialization of Collegiate Sport health and safety guidelines. Those details will be in place for the start of the spring semester in late February.
"We feel deeply for our student-athletes, especially those who have lost another season of competition. We are, however, committed to providing a meaningful athletic experience for our student-athletes while adhering to the most up-to-date health and safety guidelines," said Dr. Grant. "We are very much looking forward to the time when all of our student-athletes are back on campus striving for excellence in the classroom, in the community and in competition."
All spring club sports competition and travel will also be cancelled. As was the case during the fall and winter terms, on-campus offerings for both club sports and intramurals will continue to be reviewed, consistent with state, local and institutional guidelines. Club sports will be active with physically-distant skill drills and introductory activities for those new to the sport. In addition, there will also be in-person intramural weekly leagues such as cornhole, tennis, badminton, Kan Jam, soccer volley and a three-point shooting contest. For students who want to play Esports, DAPER will have competitive leagues on imleagues.com, as well as a casual drop-in every night from Monday-Friday on the Intramural Discord Channel.
"The decision to cancel spring varsity and club sports competition was very difficult, but we made it after much deliberation, consideration of federal, state, local and MIT Medical guidelines, and discussions with other stakeholders," said Suzy M. Nelson, vice president and dean for student life. "Our student-athletes' and community's health and well-being are our paramount concerns."