The uncertainty surrounding the 2020 college football season is swirling, and one small school made big waves on Monday morning. Bowdoin College, an NCAA Division III school located in Brunswick, Maine, announced it will not participate in intercollegiate sports during the fall semester. The Polar Bears play in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).
The decision comes on the same day that the school released a detailed plan on how students will return to campus. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors will participate in remote learning classes during the fall semester, with a few exceptions. Freshmen, transfers, students who can't take classes remotely, senior honor students who can't properly participate with their work online, and residential life staff will be allowed on campus.
"This is one of the very disappointing outcomes of our plan," Bowdoin President Clayton Rose said in a statement. "Athletics is a central part of the Bowdoin experience for many of our students and for the College more generally. NESCAC has not yet determined what will happen with conference play or how coaches in this extraordinary semester may interact with athletes on fall, winter, and spring teams during the fall semester, but I am hopeful that there will be significant opportunities this fall for coaches to work with those athletes who are both on and off campus. Varsity athletes living on campus are likely to have in-person workout opportunities with coaches, but unfortunately, students living off campus will not be permitted to participate in on-campus workouts."
The school hopes for the "opportunity for the winter, spring, and possibly fall varsity athletes to participate and compete in some form after January 1."
The Polar Bears were slated to open their season on Sept. 19 at Hamilton and conclude their season on Nov. 14 at Colby. They were 0-9 last season.