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College conference featuring several central Pa. schools suspends fall sports season

STEVE HEISER
717-505-5446/@ydsports
.

An NCAA Division III conference that includes several central Pennsylvania colleges has opted to suspend competition for the fall semester.

The 11-member Centennial Conference made the announcement Tuesday in a news release.

Three of the schools in the Centennial Conference are in counties that border on York County: Gettysburg College in Adams County, Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster County and Dickinson College in Cumberland County. The conference headquarters are in Lancaster.

The other full members of the conference are Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Muhlenberg, Swarthmore and Ursinus in Pennsylvania and Washington, Johns Hopkins and McDaniel in Maryland. Juniata, Moravian, Susquehanna, Washington & Lee, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and New York University are affiliate members of the Centennial Conference in selected sports.

In a statement, the conference said it is seeking "to ensure the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and communities amid the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic."

The conference presidents will reevaluate the decision by the end of September, but they have determined that football will not be played in the fall. The Centennial Conference will explore the possibility of shifting certain fall sports, including football, to the spring semester.

Although intercollegiate competition has been suspended for the fall, varsity sports will be permitted to engage in certain activities with their teams, such as strength and conditioning training and instruction on technique, within the framework set out by the NCAA’s Core Principles of Resocialization of Collegiate Sport and guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and state and local governments.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.