The 2020 football season at Fresno City College ended before it even began, one of seven sports at the college that have been cancelled because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

And Clovis Community College is not immune — its soccer and cross country fall seasons also have been cancelled because of the coronavirus.

The season cancellation extends across the Central Valley Conference of the California Community College Athletic Association, which  announced Friday that it was suspending all competitions in the 2020 fall sports season because of rising infection rates and the need to protect student-athletes and staff.

The conference is made up of 10 community colleges: Clovis, Columbia, Fresno City, Merced, Porterville, Reedley, College of the Sequoias, Taft, West Hills Coalinga, and West Hills Lemoore.

Student-Athletes Test Positive Elsewhere

Clovis College President Lori Bennett said the decision was not easy but was necessary given the rising numbers of cases in Fresno County and reports that some student-athletes at other colleges and universities had tested positive for the highly contagious virus soon after fall sports started.

“My heart hurts with this decision because I believe athletics plays a critical role in student access and student success,” Bennett said in a statement, adding that she remains hopeful that the college’s student athletes can resume competitions in spring 2021.

The decision also affects Fresno City men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, wrestling, men’s and women’s cross country, water polo and men’s and women’s basketball.

“The COVID-19 virus has impacted all aspects of our life. We continue to work with faculty, staff and county public health officials in an effort to support opportunities for our coaches and students to continue focusing on conditioning and academics,” Carole Goldsmith, Fresno City College President, said in a statement.

Decisions Pending for High Schools, Bulldogs

No decisions have been made yet about fall sports for high school and Fresno State athletes. The California Interscholastic Federation is scheduled to release the high school football season schedule on July 20.

Meanwhile, Fresno State’s football season will hinge on guidance from the governor’s office, the California State University chancellor, California Department of Public Health, and the Mountain West Conference.

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