Army West Point Athletics announces that competitions for Patriot League sponsored sports will be significantly limited this fall as a result of the league's decision to forego intercollegiate competitions during the 2020 fall semester but appreciate being excepted from this decision.
“I absolutely respect the very difficult but responsible decision made by the Patriot League leadership and our colleagues at member institutions,” said Mike Buddie, Director of Athletics, Army West Point. "While this policy applies to all league sponsored sports, Army and Navy are specifically excepted from this policy based on their unique ethos and the role intercollegiate competition plays in their broader missions to educate and train officers to serve in the U.S. armed forces.
Not only has the U.S. Military Academy Corps of Cadets returned to the Academy for military summer training and the fall semester, cadet-candidates for the class of 2024 have arrived and are currently beginning cadet basic training.
Decisions regarding competitions for non-Patriot League sponsored sports such as football, sprint football, hockey, wrestling, rugby, gymnastics, and rifle for example, will be made at the institutional level.
“My staff, working in concert with some of the finest military planners in the U.S. Army at West Point, have been working multiple scenarios for months now,” Buddie continued. “Common to every planning scenario designed to allow us to compete this year, regardless of sport, is a mandate that they incorporate a tightly-coupled, holistic approach between the athletics department and the entire West Point enterprise to ensure the health and safety of our cadet-athletes, staff, coaches and loyal fan base remains the top priority.”
The Army West Point football program will lose the opportunity to compete against Bucknell this fall. This comes less than a week after Princeton was dropped from the fall football schedule following the Ivy League's announcement that they would not be competing this fall.
“We are extremely fortunate to have such strong support from our United States Military Academy Superintendent (Lieutenant General Darryl A. Williams),” said Mike Harrity, Deputy Athletics Director/Chief Operating Officer, Army West Point. “Retaining the star competitions against Navy is a tremendous blessing. In football, as an FBS Independent, we have the ability to move forward with plans to compete this fall. The situation across the country, however, is far too fluid to know what our schedule will look like and who will be available to compete in the coming weeks.”
No further decisions will be made regarding scheduling until there is a clearer picture of what college athletics will look like come this fall. Army West Point hopes to have an announcement regarding schedule updates soon.