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SUNY Brockport issues interim suspension of men's soccer program


Just a week after SUNY Brockport announced that it was suspending its wrestling program pending the outcome of investigations stemming from potential COVID-19 policy violations, the college has now announced the interim suspension of the men’s soccer program.

The NCAA Division III men’s soccer program was suspended on Saturday evening pending the outcome of an investigation stemming from potential COVID-19 policy violations. In addition to the team’s interim suspension, six SUNY Brockport students will receive individual interim suspensions.

College officials say that they learned from Brockport Village Police of a gathering in the Village that reportedly consisted of over 50 people not wearing masks or social distancing. No citations were issued.

Pending the results of the investigation, the men’s soccer will have to stop all team functions, including practices, workouts, team meetings, etc. 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.

President Heidi Macpherson issued this statement:

“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.”

Athletic Director Erick Hart also released a statement:

“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.”

SUNY Chancellor Jim Maltras issued this statement on Sunday:

“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, uniform 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.”

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.