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Finlandia makes tough call to cancel all fall sports

HANCOCK — After careful consideration, Finlandia director of athletics Curtis Wittenberg has announced the cancellation of competition for the University’s fall teams (football, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball) for the fall 2020 season.

While Finlandia’s fall teams will not compete in any games or competition for the fall season, the department will have opportunities for student-athletes to remain engaged in meaningful athletic activity. They include small group practices, skill development, strength & conditioning, and student-athlete wellbeing opportunities within the limitations stipulated by the NCAA throughout the 2020-21 academic year.

“I know this decision is incredibly disappointing for our Finlandia student-athletes, as I understand the value of competition, as well as the overall student-athlete experience,” Wittenberg said. “We have a responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of not only our student-athletes, but our campus community and the local community here in the Keweenaw. Given the daily changing landscape of D3 athletics with conferences announcing the cancellation of the fall sports season, engaging in outside athletic competition is not feasible at this time.”

According to NCAA rules, student-athletes will not use a season of eligibility if their team does not compete during the fall season. The NCAA has approved a waiver to grant a season of eligibility and two semesters back to any student-athlete whose team competes in less than 50% of their season.

Finlandia will continue to explore all options for a safe return to intercollegiate athletics. Winter sports schedules remain unchanged but will be evaluated.

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