Press release from Fairmont State University Athletics Department
FAIRMONT, W.Va. – As Fairmont State University continues efforts to minimize exposures and the spread of the coronavirus on campus, it has made the difficult decision to opt-out of the remainder of the 2021 spring football season.
“Despite the countless hours spent by our university, conference and athletics administration and coaching staff to provide a spring season for our football student-athletes, we feel that the health and safety of our student-athletes are of prime importance,” said Greg Bamberger, Fairmont State University Director of Athletics. “Following a pause in our football program due to COVID-19 protocols, asking a team to return to practice and return to ‘playing shape’ for a Division II football game in just five days is unfair to our student-athletes.”
Fairmont State University President Mirta M. Martin echoed Bamberger’s sentiments.
“For over a year, the University has swiftly and deftly responded to the constantly shifting landscape of higher education in the age of COVID-19. Decisions regarding operations, classes, and athletics involve multiple factors; however, our first priority has always been the safety of our students and Falcon family. I’ve seen firsthand the immense heart and passion our student-athletes and their coaches put into their sports. I understand and share their disappointment. However, our coaches feel it is unsafe to have student-athletes play a game at this high level of competition with so little preparation time. We support their decision. Our students’ welfare and well-being will always come first.”
“We are very disappointed to share this very difficult decision with our football student-athletes that will now have to wait until fall to return to the field,” Bamberger added. “However, we appreciate their effort throughout this very difficult year and look forward to the strong return of Fairmont State football this fall.”
Fairmont State was scheduled to host Alderson Broaddus this Saturday, April 3, followed by a road game against Frostburg State on Saturday, April 10. Those games have now been canceled. The first three games of Fairmont State’s 2021 spring schedule were postponed during the team’s COVID-19 pause and are now canceled.
The Fairmont State football program will now take part in a spring football practice schedule and will begin preparations for the 2021 fall schedule later this year.