A Letter to Army Fans

Jul 28, 2020

Dear Army Fans,
 
During these trying times, we have engaged in critical dialogue on the outlook for college athletics for the 2020-21 season, and we continue to assess where Army West Point Athletics fits into that conversation. I know that you all have questions, especially as the fall sports season rapidly approaches, so I want to share some of our planning scenarios with you.

While the conversation continues throughout the entire sports world, it extends to different boundaries when speaking on behalf of our cadet-athletes. Every decision we make is in cohesion with the Academy's mission to prepare our cadets to be officers in the U.S. Army throughout their 47-month experience at West Point. Unlike other programs in America, our cadet-athletes do not get the opportunity to make up for the lost time in their sports. Our Army needs them to lead platoons of our Nations' sons and daughters, expecting nothing but the best of their newly minted platoon leaders. Recent announcements from athletic conferences around the country have had severe impacts on our fall sports scheduling. Still, we remain committed to finding a way for our teams to compete this year.

With that mission in mind, it is on us as leaders of this institution to do everything to get our athletes on the field, while making safety our top priority. This conversation has led us to evaluate our health protocols throughout the Academy. These assessments will require us to make adjustments to the way athletic competitions are conducted at West Point this fall. Our goal is to be transparent with these protocols and associated risks, allowing our fans to gather relevant information before deciding whether to attend athletic events at West Point (if that is an option). We remain confident that we can present a safe environment for our athletes, coaches, staff, and Army fans.

The United States Military Academy is uniquely equipped to address these challenges. We continuously confer with some of the most seasoned planners in the U.S. Army, led by our Superintendent Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams. In 2014, he led the United States Department of Defense response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa as the Commander of Joint Force Command-United Assistance. Keller Army Community Hospital, here at West Point, has its own Director of Public Health, which has been invaluable to the implementation of COVID-19 related protocols around the post.

As we move forward with our plans for the fall, we cannot ignore the realities of the current situation and must anticipate that conditions may worsen to the point where competing this year would not be feasible. We have contingencies in place if competitions are canceled or venue capacities are significantly limited. Read more.


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