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Comets Sports Sidelined for Fall Semester

The University of Texas at Dallas will delay fall conference sports in the hopes of resuming athletics in the spring, the University announced Saturday, July 25.

The decision was made in conjunction with fellow universities in the American Southwest Conference.

UT Dallas President Richard C. Benson said public health considerations had to come first.

“We are proud of the great work done by our students, in the classroom and on the field of play, so this is extremely disappointing,” Benson said. “We had no other option left as we had to make the health of our student-athletes, coaches, support teams and fans our first priority. It is our hope that these sports can return to our campus in the spring.”

Competitions for the University’s esports programs will be held remotely and scheduled as usual, said Greg Adler, head coach.

“Esports is a go for the upcoming semester; we are excited to represent UTD on the national level through athletics,” said Adler, adding that competition dates will be announced later. 

UT Dallas became one of the few universities in Texas to offer esports — competitive video gaming — as part of its athletics department in 2018. Teams participate in various leagues and competitions, including ones hosted by developers Riot Games, Blizzard and Psyonix.

Club, Recreation Sports

Club sports and intramurals are using a phased approach for the upcoming academic year, said Ben Piper, associate director of University Recreation.

“We are providing whatever programs we can with the current University and CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] distancing guidelines in place,” Piper said.

Team sports, such as rugby and club soccer, have been postponed until spring, while activities that can be done alone, such as disc golf and fitness challenges, can be accommodated. The learn-to-swim program will be conducted with staff providing instruction from the pool deck. Staff are preparing virtual fitness classes and personal training content that can be viewed on demand. Fall activities will be posted online. 

University Recreation facilities will be open starting Aug. 10 but with reduced hours, said Chris McAlpine, associate director of University Recreation. Hours will be posted on its website.

Students will have access to the fitness area, swimming pool and climbing wall during certain hours. All other areas, including the main gym and squash and racquetball courts, will be off limits until further notice. In compliance with the Texas governor’s orders to maintain 50% capacity, no more than 33 people will be allowed in the Activity Center’s cardio fitness area at one time, and no more than 12 people in Rec Center West. 

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].