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SUNY Brockport interim suspends men's soccer program for potential COVID-19 policy violations

SUNY Brockport suspends wrestling program, launches investigation into possible COVID-19 violations
Posted at 11:45 AM, Sep 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-20 11:45:04-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — SUNY Brockport announced Saturday it has interim suspended its men's soccer program due to potential COVID-19 policy violations.

According to a release, the school said it learned from police of a gathering in the Village of Brockport that reportedly consisted of over 50 people not wearing masks or social distancing.

Pending the outcome of the investigation, Brockport says the men's soccer team is to cease all team functions.

In addition to the men's soccer program, six SUNY Brockport students will receive an interim suspension.

"The only exception to the interim suspension for the individual students as well as the entire men’s soccer team is the requirement for all to report to campus in order to take part in the college’s pool surveillance testing," a release states.

This is the second program to be suspended at Brockport in a week, it was announced Sept. 12 the wrestling program was suspended and an investigation would be launched due to potential COVID-19 policy violations.

A statement from President Heidi Macpherson:

“I was extremely disappointed to learn of the activities that led to the interim suspension of the men’s soccer team. While the vast majority of our students are following the proper COVID-19 precautions, we cannot allow the health and safety of our community to be jeopardized by the inappropriate and potentially dangerous actions of a few individuals. If we want to complete the semester in a healthy environment, everyone must all follow the rules and guidelines created to protect us.”

A statement from Athletic Director Erick Hart:

“I am saddened that these students would make these choices to jeopardize the health and safety of the community, especially knowing how hard fellow student-athletes worked to protect the nest.”

A statement from SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras:

“I spoke with SUNY Brockport President Heidi Macpherson about her decision to place their men’s soccer program and several student athletes on interim suspension following a large gathering involving students who were violating safety protocols. I fully support the college’s action. As we have seen on other campuses, this virus can spread rapidly, causing the suspension of on campus activities and in person instruction for the vast majority of students who are doing the right thing. We cannot let a few individuals ruin it for the entire SUNY community. Therefore, working with our campus leaders across the SUNY system we are finalizing a comprehensive, unified response to address COVID-19 violations on all SUNY campuses. We must continue to send a loud and clear message that we will not tolerate blatant violations during this new normal. It’s unfair to the students, faculty, staff, and families who have done so much to re-open our colleges and universities.”