Bowdoin, which plays in one of the most competitive Division III conferences, announced that it will not participate in intercollegiate sports during the fall semester.
Men's and women's
soccer are among the sports affected at the Maine school, which offers 30 varsity sports. The Polar Bears play in the New England Small College Athletic Conference.
The decision came in
response to the academic plan devised for the return to school in the fall -- only freshmen, transfers, students who can't take classes remotely, senior honor students who can't do their work online
and residential advisers will be allowed on campus. Classes for other sophomores, juniors and seniors will be online.
"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."
Bowdoin's men's soccer team was 6-5-4 in 2019. The women finished
7-8-1. The The Polar Bears were NESCAC men's soccer champions in 2014 and 2015. NESCAC has produced five of the last six NCAA Division III men's soccer champions.