Marist will not participate in the 2021 Pioneer Football League Spring Season. The decision came after the PFL announced plans for a league schedule back in November.
According to a statement issued by the Marist Athletic Department:
“This decision was made in consultation with the College’s medical team and with public health guidance regarding COVID-19. The well-being of the campus community is of paramount importance. The key drivers of this difficult decision were the high-risk nature of the sport; the unique national travel associated with the PFL; the team’s roster size; and the continued challenges of regional and national COVID-19 infection rates. Ultimately, the risk to our athletes and campus community outweighed the benefits of attempting to compete in the PFL’s spring season.”
The NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) staged its season in the fall and struggled mightily with COVID-19 cases.
Marist joins other Football Championship Subdivision schools such as, PFL opponent University of Dayton, traditional foe Georgetown University, and the entire Ivy League in canceling the spring season.
“Unfortunately, at this point, the threat of the COVID-19 virus has not diminished as we had hoped it would this past fall,” Marist Director of Athletics Tim Murray said. “The overall landscape regarding this pandemic has not improved, and by most metrics, it has gotten worse. In the best interests of our student-athletes and our campus community, this is the unfortunate decision we had to make. Words can’t express the disappointment this decision has caused for our athletes.”
The Red Foxes will try to practice in the spring in preparation for a 2021 fall season.
“I know this decision is disappointing to the members of Marist’s football program,” Said Marist President Dennis Murray. “But because of the ongoing threat of COVID-19, I firmly believe we are doing the right thing. The health and safety of our student-athletes, college community, and the larger Dutchess County community must be at the forefront of all institutional decisions.”
Edited by Bridget Reilly