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March 16, 2020 – Athletics spring season canceled

Eastern Oregon Athletics Cancels 2019-20 Spring Competition & Practices3/15/2020 | GeneralLA GRANDE, Ore. – With the cancelation of the remainder of the NAIA and Cascade Collegiate Conference seasons, the Eastern Oregon athletic department has also canceled all spring sports competition including practices for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic school year. EOU could reevaluate the cancellation of practices after one month.

This decision has been made in consultation with the EOU’s Leadership Team’s efforts to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus and with the best interest of the health and safety of our student-athletes, campus personnel, working and event personnel, and all those who attend Eastern Oregon University events.

“I hope everyone understands that this decision was not taken lightly–it was extremely difficult to make,” said director of athletics Anji Weissenfluh. “Student-athletes who participate in spring sports have worked incredibly hard in the classroom and in preparation for their sports for the past six months and to let them know they will no longer be able to practice or play seems unfair. While spring sports seem to be the focus, I know this impacts each of our student-athletes and coaches. Programs that would normally be conducting spring workouts in preparation for the upcoming seasons are no longer able to practice or compete. With that being said, the long-term health of our coaches, staff, student-athletes, and community is of the utmost importance and that is ultimately why this decision has been made. I thank everyone for their support and understanding during this time of uncertainty.”

In the NAIA announcement, they also addressed eligibility stating that in an effort to provide relief, no spring sport student-athlete will be charged a season of competition. Any spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled full-time in 2020 will be awarded two additional semester terms of attendance or the equivalent.

The Mountaineer athletic programs have had one of the best all-around years, currently ranking third in the NAIA in the Learfield Cup Standings. Eastern Oregon has sent numerous teams and student-athletes to nationals. EOU women’s soccer went to the quarterfinals of the national tournament, volleyball reached the top-16, men’s soccer made the tournament for the first time and the EOU cross country teams both qualified for the national meet. During the winter, women’s indoor track and field took 7th while the men placed 17th. Men’s wrestling took 28th while women’s wrestling was ready to compete for a top-10 placement.

“I have been incredibly proud of our Mounties this year,” said Weissenfluh. “Not only were our programs successful in the athletic arena, but they were successful in the classroom too. Our student-athletes are incredible ambassadors to EOU and on top of performing in the classroom and on the field; they put in numerous hours of service for the La Grande community. I sincerely hope that recent circumstances do not overshadow the success that our student-athletes and coaches had this year.”

For more EOU updates on COVID-19, please visit https://www.eou.edu/coronavirus/ or https://www.eou.edu/emergency/.

For more information on Eastern Oregon athletics, follow @EOUAthletics or visit eousports.com.