SU Athletics

Athletes exempt from ‘Stay Safe Pledge’ travel guidelines, SU official says

Max Freund | Staff Photographer

Syracuse's "Stay Safe Pledge" will exempt student-athletes traveling with athletic teams.

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Syracuse athletes are among the groups exempt from the university’s “Stay Safe Pledge” travel restrictions, Vice President and Chief Communications Officer Jeff Stoecker said Wednesday in a statement to The Daily Orange. 

The pledge, which SU released Tuesday, contains guidelines that restrict travel outside of central New York during the fall semester. All members of the Syracuse community are expected to follow the guidelines. 

Athletes will be part of the “limited number of students” able to leave campus during the fall semester, Stoecker said. The university’s pledge would have otherwise prevented athletes from traveling for road games. All of Syracuse’s Atlantic Coast Conference opponents and most of its nonconference opponents, are located outside of central New York.

“University sanctioned travel will include added safety precautions to protect the health and well-being of our students, as well as our broader community when they return to campus,” Stoecker said. “We expect that any student who travels away from campus will respect and uphold the spirit of the pledge.”

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SU’s pledge is the latest step in a series of plans for welcoming students back to campus for the fall semester. Students must be tested for COVID-19 before and after arriving at SU, and the fall semester will follow an accelerated format. Other guidelines in the “Stay Safe Pledge” include wearing a mask at all times and following quarantine and isolation directives.

Even as schools prepare to bring students back, recent spikes in COVID-19 cases continue to jeopardize fall sports. As a result, the Big Ten announced a conference-only scheduling format for fall sports last Thursday. The Pac-12 followed soon after, and the Ivy League and Patriot League canceled fall seasons altogether. 

The ACC expects to make a decision in late July, having already delayed Olympic sport games and competitions until Sept. 1.

Syracuse has progressed into phase two of its voluntary offseason workout plan for football, bringing around 80 players back to campus. Other sports, such as men’s and women’s basketball, have joined them, too. Still, fall games have already been canceled, with football losing nonconference contests against Rutgers and Colgate. Schedules for non-revenue sports haven’t been released yet.

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