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UD suspends football season, other fall sports due to pandemic

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Hens vs. Penn

Quarterback Nolan Henderson and the Blue Hens will have to wait until this spring, at the earliest, to return to the field.

This fall should have been a momentous one for Blue Hen football, with the university planning to celebrate the completion of the long-awaited stadium renovation and athletic performance center. Instead, it will be remembered for a much different reason – as the first year since World War II that there will be no football played at the University of Delaware.

UD officials announced Friday afternoon they are suspending all fall sports due to the pandemic.

"These are certainly unprecedented and challenging times and this decision was an incredibly difficult one to make. The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and entire community has always been, and will continue to be our top priority. We know how hard our student-athletes, coaches and staff work to compete for this great University," Athletic Director Chrissi Rawak said in a prepared statement. "We also know that we have so many loyal supporters that bleed Blue and Gold, however, to mitigate risk and compete in a safe and healthy environment, ultimately this was a decision that needed to be made. We will do everything we can to give our student-athletes and coaches an opportunity to compete for the University of Delaware as soon as it's safe to do so."

The university plans to “diligently explore” opportunities to play football and other fall sports this spring, if health conditions allow, officials said.

UD joins a number of other universities and conferences that have canceled fall sports this week. The Colonial Athletic Association, to which UD belongs, suspended conference football games, but it allowed schools to choose to play an independent schedule if they wish. The conference left decisions on other fall sports up to each school.

The CAA said in a statement that it has a “strong commitment to exploring the possibility of conducting a football season during the spring of 2021.”

Athletes' scholarships will still be honored, and athletes can continue with voluntary workout participation.

No decision has been made about basketball and other winter sports.

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