Athletics

Fall Sports Postponed

The Capital Athletic Conference elected to postpone—rather than cancel—intercollegiate competition and championships for the following fall sports: men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, and women’s volleyball. Likewise, the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, our conference affiliate for football, today elected to postpone its football season until January 1, 2021.

We support these proactive steps taken by our conference partners to protect student-athletes and campus communities and, while nothing is certain in this “new normal,” we fully expect—and are already working with our conference partners—to resume regular competitions for the affected fall sports in the upcoming Spring 2021 Semester. Based on the tremendous current pace of medical research and development, we are optimistic about the future, and expect in the next few months to see important advances in COVID-19 testing technology, treatments, and vaccines that can all have a major positive impact for restarting athletics early next year.

As we like to say at Southern Virginia University, “There is always opportunity in adversity.” We can already see many new opportunities in this revised schedule for fall athletics, including:

Offseason Practices & Scrimmages

For the fall sports affected by this postponement, we will flip the traditional off-season spring component of the sport to the fall season. That means competitive practices, inter-squad scrimmages, strength training, and team building activities for these sports will happen in the fall semester and will be more important than ever. In other words, this fall will provide a unique opportunity for teams and student-athletes to improve and prepare to compete in the spring—and to get ready for our best athletic year ever!

Academic Focus

Without the typical demanding fall competition schedules, this upcoming semester will allow our student-athletes to focus completely on their academics. The Division III philosophy places “the highest priority on the overall quality of the educational experience and on the successful completion of all students’ academic programs.” Please keep your plans to attend school this fall where you will improve yourself through education, learn from our amazing professors in small, safe classes, and continue progressing toward graduation.

Protecting Our Campus Community

Postponing fall sports until the spring will help protect our campus community during this unprecedented semester—especially those individuals who are at high-risk and most vulnerable to infection. Eliminating travel between campuses for competitions, and the close contact inherent to many of these sports, will enhance our efforts to safeguard our campus from the virus. Postponing competitions will also allow us to utilize more of the spaces in our athletics facilities for important social distancing measures across campus.

In short, postponing fall sports until the spring will help prevent and minimize exposure to COVID-19 across our campus—and therefore it is the right thing for us to do as student-athletes and good citizens of our campus community.

Although there is still some uncertainty about decisions that the NCAA and our conference partners have made, or could still make, concerning collegiate athletics, Southern Virginia University is completely committed to finding ways for all of our teams to have successful, fulfilling experiences this fall and beyond. Together, we will continue to explore options that will enable our student-athletes to continue to engage and actively participate in their sports and to improve as athletes and individuals, as long as we can do so safely and responsibly.

We’ll need to be resourceful, think outside the box, and all work together this fall—but those are some of the things we do best. In many ways, athletics is about developing character as much as any physical abilities. This global pandemic is a unique opportunity to come together as a community to protect each other and showcase the toughness, grit, and determination we have worked hard to develop in our athletic endeavors. This will be a semester unlike any other and we invite all of you to come participate on our campus as we work to make this one of the safest places you could possibly be for the next few months.

Options for Student-Athlete’s Health Insurance

Please carefully review the below updates and improvements to our health and injury insurance policy for students-athletes designed to further safeguard and protect our campus community.

Primary Health Insurance: Required for all Student-Athletes

  • All student-athletes must have active primary health insurance coverage and provide proof of their coverage to Athletic Training before participating in their respective sport.
  • Your primary health insurance plan should cover typical medical expenses such as visits to a primary physician, medication, hospitalizations and treatments, etc.
  • Your insurance should provide coverage for services while you are a student in Virginia. Some insurance plans don’t cover or don’t fully cover “out-of-network” services. If you are unsure about whether you will be covered while in Virginia, please contact your insurance provider and ask if they offer a “guest policy” for students attending school away from home.
  • If you need help or have questions, please contact Head Athletic Trainer, Chad Mahaffey by emailing chad.mahaffey@svu.edu.

Primary Health Insurance: New University-sponsored option for United Healthcare

  • For student-athletes who do not currently have primary health insurance coverage or whose coverage is limited, the University will offer an affordable option for individual purchase through United Healthcare
  • This option can be especially helpful for student-athletes without health insurance or individuals whose plans provide limited (“out-of-network”) coverage in Virginia
  • For more details about this new University-sponsored option through United Healthcare, please contact Head Athletic Trainer Chad Mahaffey at chad.mahaffey@svu.edu

Secondary Health & Injury Insurance: $250 Fee for Student-Athletes

  • Per NCAA recommendations, the University is pleased to offer a subsidized and improved secondary health insurance policy to provide additional coverage for all student-athletes
  • This secondary policy is intended to cover costs associated with athletic injuries such as visits to a primary physician, hospitalizations, and even surgeries
  • Our new secondary health insurance policy will cover up to 100 percent of costs, after primary insurance, to reduce the chance of individuals incurring sizable medical bills for athletics-related illness or injury; this is a huge benefit that helps protect all student-athletes
  • The University will cover the large majority of the cost for this new secondary health insurance policy; however, we are asking each student-athlete to contribute by paying a $250 fee for this enhanced protective coverage, which will be applied to student accounts

On-campus COVID-19 Laboratory Testing

  • The University is pleased to offer rapid, on-campus COVID-19 laboratory testing, with same-day results; we are one of the few universities in Virginia to have developed this capability
  • Any student exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will be able to get a lab test, which will be billed to their primary health insurance (required for all student-athletes)
  • In the event a team needs to conduct student-athlete screening before a competition or scrimmage, the University will do so free-of-charge for those student-athletes

Please contact Director of Athletics Deidra Dryden by emailing deidra.dryden@svu.edu if you have any questions or concerns about these updates to our health and injury insurance policies.