University president Joan Ferrini-Mundy, in consultation with the University of Maine system and other campus leaders, announced the decision Tuesday.
This decision will most immediately impact students participating in the men’s and women’s basketball, and the men’s and women’s hockey programs. All games scheduled to be played between Nov. 25 and Dec. 8 have been canceled.
Maine will re-evaluate the situation on Dec. 8.
Scheduled games will be canceled and traveling teams will return to Orono following safety and travel protocols outlined in public health guidance. Practices and other organized activities will be modified over the coming two weeks.
COVID-19 testing protocols for the teams will continue during the two-week pause.
Fall and spring sports athletes are not practicing again until mid-January.
“We love to see our Black Bears compete, but the health of our student athletes, coaches, staff and communities comes first,” said Ferrini-Mundy in a statement. “We are responding to test results and contact tracing to prevent the further spread of infection within Athletics, throughout the university community and beyond.”
“While this interruption will be difficult on our teams, it is in keeping with our premise that the health and safety of our community is the priority,” added Ken Ralph, Maine director of athletics. “We will do all we can to positively engage our students in the safest way possible. We are grateful for the support we have received and our teams look forward to returning to competition when it is deemed safe to do so.”