Dear Marietta College Family,

Since March, when we stopped in-person learning, and throughout the summer as we have updated plans to bring everyone back to campus for the fall semester, I have tried my best to keep you as updated as possible.

That is why I am contacting you today to inform you that this afternoon, the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) announced that it is putting all NCAA intercollegiate athletic competition on hold through December 31, 2020. I was one of the 10 members of the President’s Council who voted to approve this measure as an important and necessary step in protecting the student-athletes at Marietta College and the other OAC institutions.

We continue our unwavering support for all our sports programs, and we value each one of our student-athletes. While our Marietta College student-athletes will not be able to compete against other schools this fall, we are committed to intercollegiate competition during the spring semester. We are confident we can meet this challenge and use it as an opportunity to give our student-athletes even more in terms of academic and athletic growth in some new and exciting ways.

The Marietta College athletic programs impacted are cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, volleyball, rowing, basketball, and indoor track and field.

As an institution, we will continue to offer a valuable in-person academic and athletic experience. Moving forward, we believe this will continue to be a distinguishing quality of Marietta College and our athletic department. We are also working to create high-level, sport-specific training that will give coaches more time to evaluate student-athletes, while also providing increased opportunities for the student-athletes to engage even more in the academic and student life on campus.

The NCAA says that Division III student-athletes WILL NOT be charged with participation for the 2020-21 season if their team can complete only 50% or less of the sport’s maximum contests/dates of competition due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, another blanket waiver was approved permitting student-athletes to receive a TWO-SEMESTER EXTENSION OF ELIGIBILITY if the following conditions are met:

  • The student-athlete was unable to participate in their sport during the 2020-21 academic year due to the impact of COVID-19, or the student-athlete’s teams completed 50% or less of the sport’s maximum contests/dates of competition during the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19.
  • The student-athlete was otherwise eligible for competition during the 2020-21 academic year.

I know our student-athletes are upset by this decision, but I hope they understand this was about their overall safety and well-being, and we promise to provide opportunities for each of you to gain something positive out of this situation. I am proud of the amazing coaching staff we have at Marietta College, and I know they will do everything in their power to provide the best student-athlete experience as we manage the ever-changing climate surround COVID-19.

I also want to thank each of our student-athletes for their commitment to Marietta College and their desire to navigate through a global pandemic to continue their education and athletic pursuits as Pioneers.

Bring Forth a Pioneer!

Bill Ruud
President and Professor of Management