Although subject to change based on the COVID-19 pandemic, Colorado School of Mines athletic department is planning on a “relatively normal fall” with teams playing a conference schedule and …
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Although subject to change based on the COVID-19 pandemic, Colorado School of Mines athletic department is planning on a “relatively normal fall” with teams playing a conference schedule and potentially in championship games if they qualify. However, a decision has not yet been made about whether fans will be allowed to attend games in-person, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications Tim Flynn said.
One decision that has already been made is that all Mines athletic teams will play a reduced number of games next year after the NCAA decided all Division II teams will play a shorter 2020 season.
Flynn said most seasons are being reduced by about two weeks, with the football team being the exception in only seeing its season reduced by one week after Mines announced the cancellation of its football season opener at Angelo State (the school's also announced the cancellation of their 2021 game in Golden but say they plan to reschedule the series in the future). Mines basketball teams will also play only their conference schedule after the basketball season was reduced from 26 to 22 games.
“The reason they did that was to reduce travel and to save some money because a lot of schools in general are hurting,” said Flynn.
Keeping athletes in say has also been a challenge with gyms and other athletic facilities closed until recently. For now, student athletes can only work out on-campus during voluntary small group workouts under the direction of strength and conditioning staff. However, Flynn said he expected all fall athletes to be back on campus as normal by mid-August.
So far, the athletic department has not seen a major impact on revenues and budgeting from COVID-19 because the cancellation of part of the 2020 spring season meant the school was able to save on costs like travel. However, he said he expects the athletic department will have to tighten its belt depending on how overall Mines enrollment looks this fall.
Mines athletics has committed to honor all scholarships for spring athletes whose seasons were cancelled because of the virus. Mines students receive partial athletic scholarships rather than full ones.“Certainly, that's going to cost us more money but it's the right thing to do,” Flynn said.
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