Marist Football Opts Out Of Spring Competition

Thursday, January 21, 2021
by Marist Athletics Communications

POUGHKEEPSIE, New York – The Marist Athletics Department has announced the difficult decision to forgo participation in the 2021 Pioneer Football League (PFL) spring season.

This decision was made in consultation with the College’s medical team and with public health guidance regarding COVID-19. The well-being of the campus community is of paramount importance. The key drivers of this difficult decision were the high-risk nature of the sport; the unique national travel associated with the PFL; the team’s roster size; and the continued challenges of regional and national COVID-19 infection rates. Ultimately, the risk to our athletes and campus community outweighed the benefits of attempting to compete in the PFL’s spring season.

Said Marist President Dennis J. Murray, “I know this decision is disappointing to the members of Marist’s football program, but because of the ongoing threat of COVID-19, I firmly believe we are doing the right thing. The health and safety of our student-athletes, college community, and the larger Dutchess County community must be at the forefront of all institutional decisions.”

On Nov. 23, the PFL announced aspirational plans for a six-game league schedule, which is set to begin on March 13. The league’s 2021 spring schedule was announced on Dec. 17. The determination to not compete in a spring season has been made by over two dozen schools in the Football Championship Subdivision. This list includes the entire Ivy League as well as longtime Marist opponents Georgetown (Patriot League) and Dayton (PFL).

“Unfortunately, at this point the threat of the COVID-19 virus has not diminished as we had hoped it would this past fall,” Marist Director of Athletics Tim Murray said. “The overall landscape regarding this pandemic has not improved, and by most metrics, it has gotten worse. In the best interests of our student-athletes and our campus community, this is the unfortunate decision we had to make. Words can’t express the disappointment this decision has caused for our athletes.” 

Marist is hopeful to have a traditional spring practice schedule, if local and campus conditions allow for it, in preparation for our fall 2021 season. Any plan will be in accordance with the College’s goals of keeping the campus community safe while providing the best possible academic and athletic experience for our students. 

Marist joined the PFL for the 2009 season. The Red Foxes wish our PFL competitors the best of luck in moving forward, and are thankful for the support and understanding of our student-athletes and staff.