(WXYZ) — Michigan State University officials are reacting to the postponement of fall sports, including football.
They have issued the following statements;
I know how disappointed the whole Spartan community is over the cancellation of fall sports. We have amazing student-athletes and fans at Michigan State University and this news is hard for many people. But safety remains our top priority, and we are still focused on creating a safe environment in which our university’s mission can continue. We are committed to ensuring our students have a successful academic year.
We will continue to work with the Big Ten Conference as we look for opportunities for athletics to resume in the future. Collectively, we need to take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves and others and follow the guidance of our health and medical experts to protect the mental and physical health of our student-athletes.
I appreciate all the hard work so many people have put into these past several months. We have multiple factors that we are considering and evaluating, including the feedback we have received from some of our student-athletes about their safety and well-being. This open dialogue will continue.
Michigan State University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.
The decision to postpone the fall season is heartbreaking. Our student-athletes have put in tireless hours of hard work to earn their scholarships and their places on our teams. They are what inspire every one of us who work in intercollegiate athletics. We understand that today’s news will be devastating for many of them. As an athletic department our goal is to provide opportunities for student-athletes both academically, athletically and socially. Sadly, the time has come where we must postpone those athletic opportunities, at least for the fall.
We appreciate the hard work put in by the university medical team and athletic training staff over the last few months. They’ve worked without ceasing to develop and implement a Return to Campus plan that provided an opportunity to play sports, but with never losing focus on our first priority: the health and safety of our student-athletes. The care of our student-athletes since their arrival has been exceptional.
We tried to be in a place where we could play intercollegiate athletics, and at the time we announced our Return to Campus plan and welcomed student-athletes back on campus in June, things were trending in the right direction. However, it’s become clear that we are simply not in a position to move forward.
Over the next few months, we will continue to support the academic and social development of our student-athletes, and to whatever extent is possible, also their athletic training, while continuing to place a priority on their physical and mental health. This is a sad day in the history of Michigan State and Big Ten athletics, but we are resolute that we will continue to move forward and prepare for when we can safely return to competition.
Michigan State Athletic Director Bill Beekman
From the beginning of this public health crisis there have been many unknowns for college football, thus it was important for me to listen and follow our medical staff and medical experts’ protocols for our workouts, practices and playing.
The uncertainties caused by COVID-19 have created enormous stress for our players and their families and I am proud of their resilience. Our coaches and staff will continue to support their drive, dreams and decisions.
While the conclusion to postpone the season is not easy for anyone, based on the medical recommendations, I respect the decision of the Big Ten Conference.
When the medical experts tell us that we can get back to business, we’ll be ready. Until then, stay safe and Go Green.
Michigan State Football Coach Mel Tucker