Fans will not be permitted at WVU Tech home games

(Brad Davis/The Register-Herald) WVU Tech's Fletcher Caponecchia battles for possession with Madonna's Caio Mazzo Nogueira during an NAIA Division II national tournament game Nov. 23, 2019, at the YMCA Paul Cline Memorial Sports Complex.

There will be no fan attendance at WVU Tech home games in any of its fall sports, the school announced Thursday.

In a message from President Carolyn Long and Athletic Director Kenny Howell, the update was posted to the school's athletics website and social media pages. 

"For several months, the NAIA, River States Conference and WVU Tech have worked diligently with local governments and experts in the health care community to develop a plan to responsibly host athletic competitions for the 2020-2021 academic year, and we are confident in that plan," the statement read. "Unfortunately, as part of those recommendations, we will not have the ability to host spectators at any of our fall contests. We do pledge to provide as much virtual coverage as possible for these events, including live stats and web streaming whenever possible. While we want students, parents and fans to attend our events, we accept and understand the current inability to do so.

"We will continue to monitor the situation moving forward and we explore whether spectators may attend contests for winter and/or spring. WVU Tech administration will communicate updates whenever more details are available."

The start of each of Tech's fall sports — men's and women's cross country, men's and women's soccer and volleyball — was delayed after the NAIA ruled that they could not begin competition until Sept. 5. That delay got lengthier when NCAA Division II and III canceled fall sports, affecting many NAIA teams' early nonconference schedules.

The cross country teams are scheduled to host the Golden Bear Classic XC Short Course Time Trials on Sept. 19 at 3:45 p.m. That meet will be run at the on the Coach Willie Barbera Memorial Cross Country Course at Beckley-Stratton Middle School. It will be the Golden Bears' only home event of the season.

The women's soccer team will start the season Sept. 12 at home against Carolina University. The game will start at 6 p.m. at the YMCA Paul Cline Memorial Youth Sports Complex.

The men's team will open Sept. 26 at Rio Grande for the first of three straight road games. The Golden Bears will make their home debut Oct. 15 against Brescia.

The volleyball team has four straight matches on the road to start the season, beginning with Oakland City University on Sept. 25. Tech's will host Brescia Oct. 9 and 10 at Van Meter Gymnasium.

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