University of Michigan-Dearborn athletics will play this spring

University changes course, will allow teams to play this spring

University of Michigan-Dearborn athletic field
University of Michigan-Dearborn athletic field

DEARBORN, Mich. – The University of Michigan-Dearborn has reversed its course and will now allow its spring sports teams to play with stricter health guidelines agreed upon by other schools.

The university originally decided Wednesday to cancel its spring sports season for the second straight year despite other schools in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference continuing on with their sports.

According to the university, the reason for cancellation was that other schools were not planning to adhere to COVID safety protocols.

Student athletes made a plea Thursday at the Board of Regents meeting to allow the sports teams to play. They told the Board that other schools in the conference had contacted them, telling them they were willing to do whatever they needed to meet safety expectations in order to play UM-Dearborn teams.

Here is the update from the school on Friday:

“UM-Dearborn has prioritized the health and safety of our campus community from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and has used these guideposts to reach decisions about university operations. Over the past year, the university has made adjustments to guidelines and policies as new information has become available. On Thursday, February 18, the university learned that schools within the Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference are working to implement more stringent health and safety guidelines relating to their student-athletes, including ongoing testing plans and a mask policy. In addition, the athletic conference is working on a conference-wide policy that will help ensure the health and safety of all student-athletes. These new policies align with those that UM-Dearborn’s athletics department developed in their return to training and competition plan.

After consultation with our U-M chief health officer, UM-Dearborn will return to spring athletic competition, contingent upon teams following health and safety guidelines (testing and masks) during competitions with UM-Dearborn. We remain hopeful that the conference will finalize a conference-wide policy to protect all student-athletes during competitions.”

University of Michigan Vice Chancellor Ken Kettenbeil

U of M-Dearborn Chancellor Domenico Grasso announced during the meeting Thursday that after some more discussions, the decision to cancel the season might have some late-game drama.

“New information has come to light, so we are as soon as possible going to confer with our chief health officer and revisit the decision in light of the new information,” Grasso said at the Board of Regents meeting.

The new decision to allow the teams to play came the next day.


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About the Author:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.