If students return, HMC won’t allow participating athletes to live on campus

Players from the CMS and University of Redlands football teams face off against each other during a game.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps is not yet approved to resume practice or compete. (Meghan Joyce • The Student Life)

If Harvey Mudd College students return to campus for the spring semester, participating Claremont-Mudd-Scripps student-athletes won’t be among them.

HMC athletes must forgo living in residence halls or off-campus apartments operated by the college in order to participate in athletics, Dean of Students Anna Gonzalez announced in an email to HMC student-athletes Monday.

Such students “would be considered off-campus enrolled [students] and as such, would not be allowed to come onto the Mudd campus for any reason,” the email said. Participation in HMC classes or “co-curricular programs and services” would be online only.

“While difficult, the decision to not allow students participating in CMS athletics to live on or visit the Harvey Mudd campus balances our commitment to ensuring the health and safety of all members of our community with providing an opportunity for our student athletes to continue their athletics participation as part of their college experience,” the email said.

Gonzalez noted that CMS Athletics is not yet approved to practice or compete, and that a decision will be made “no sooner than Wednesday, Dec. 9.” HMC announced tentative plans for a return to campus for the spring semester last week and plans to tell students if they can return to campus by Jan. 11.

Currently, Los Angeles County remains in the highest-risk Tier 1 under California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, meaning community transmission of COVID-19 is “widespread.” The county is currently following decisions from the California Department of Public Health concerning collegiate athletics.

The most recent interim CDPH guidance, issued Sept. 30, allows for collegiate athletic training and competitions provided teams and colleges meet all listed standards. For practices, that means players and coaches keeping six feet apart, practicing outdoors whenever possible, engaging in “periodic” COVID-19 testing and following the school’s “return to play” safety plan. 

For competitions, athletes in high contact sports must have a negative test within 48 hours of the competition. Schools competing against each other must have “reasonable assurance” that both teams have “adequately considered and addressed” safety requirements.

Student-athletes who opt out of CMS participation would be allowed on campus. The college said it will continue to work with CMS staff for HMC-only physical education and recreation opportunities.

“The [Division of Student Affairs] as well as CMS administration and coaches are committed to supporting you as best we can during these challenging times,” the email said.

CMS administration will host a virtual meeting for all CMS student-athletes Nov. 1 to “provide an update on athletics as well as on current SCIAC and CMS planning for spring semester,” Gonzalez said.

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