SUNY Brockport suspends men’s soccer team
The College at Brockport has suspended a second sports program after news of safety violations regarding COVID-19, the school announced.
On Sunday, the school announced it has suspended the men’s soccer program pending the outcome of an investigation stemming from potential COVID-19 policy violations. Six Brockport students will also receive individual interim suspensions, the college announced.
Saturday evening, the college learned from Brockport police of a gathering in the Village of Brockport which reportedly included more that 50 people who were not wearing masks and were not social distancing.
The incident comes one week after the college’s wrestling program was suspended for reportedly not enforcing COVID-19 safety regulations.
“I was extremely disappointed to learn of the activities that led to the interim suspension of the men’s soccer team,” college president Heidi Macpherson said. “While the vast majority of our students are following the proper COVID-19 precautions, we cannot allow the health and safety of our community to be jeopardized by the inappropriate and potentially dangerous actions of a few individuals. If we want to complete the semester in a healthy environment, everyone must all follow the rules and guidelines created to protect us.”
Under the suspension, the men’s soccer team will not be allowed be able to continue any team functions, including practices, workouts and team meetings. The exception to the suspension for the six students and the entire men’s soccer team “is the requirement for all to report to campus in order to take part in the college’s pool surveillance testing,” according to a statement from the college.
“I am saddened that these students would make these choices to jeopardize the health and safety of the community, especially knowing how hard fellow student-athletes worked to protect the nest,” said Brockport’s Athletic Director Erick Hart.
SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras spoke with Macpherson about her decision to suspend the men’s soccer program and several student athletes and said he fully supported her decision and that SUNY is working with campus leaders across the SUNY system to finalize a comprehensive, uniform response to address COVID-19 violations on all SUNY campuses.
“As we have seen on other campuses, this virus can spread rapidly, causing the suspension of on-campus activities and in-person instruction for the vast majority of students who are doing the right thing,” Malatras said in a written statement. “We cannot let a few individuals ruin it for the entire SUNY community.
“We must continue to send a loud and clear message that we will not tolerate blatant violations during this new normal,” he said. “It’s unfair to the students, faculty, staff, and families who have done so much to re-open our colleges and universities.”
Nearly 8,000 students attend the College at Brockport, including about 6,675 undergraduate students, according to the college’s website.