Office of the President

July 28, 2020

To the William Paterson Community:

The New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Presidents Council, which includes me and the Presidents of the other universities and colleges in our conference, has made the difficult decision to postpone all intercollegiate fall sport contests and league championships scheduled for the upcoming fall 2020 semester. We have taken this action with the health and safety of our communities as our top priority, based on extensive consultation with the NJAC Board of Athletic Administrators.

This decision means that William Paterson University's field hockey, football, men’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s tennis, and women’s volleyball programs will not compete this fall. We continue to address plans for the Pioneers’ baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, spring men’s golf, softball, and men’s and women’s swimming and diving seasons, and we will update you when plans are finalized.

It is too early to say for certain, but we hope to provide opportunities for our intercollegiate fall sport student-athletes to return to competition during the spring 2021 semester. Those decisions will be made in the coming months, based on health and safety factors and determinations by the NCAA and NJAC. We also intend to allow our intercollegiate fall sport student-athletes to participate in limited on-campus practice and training opportunities during the fall 2020 semester, consistent with public health guidelines, NCAA requirements, and University protocols.

Intercollegiate athletics has a long tradition at William Paterson. Beyond its obvious importance to our student-athletes, it is a source of entertainment, pride, and unity for the University community. As someone who cheers on our Pioneers in every sport, at as many contests as possible, I know that the return of competitions, which mark the start of the year for many, will be greatly missed. I have said many times that the coming semester will be different as we make the necessary adjustments in order to be able return to campus safely. This is one of those changes that will allow us to better take care of each other during the pandemic. 

We are very disappointed that intercollegiate competition will be postponed for the fall, but we look forward to returning to the fields, courts, and pool as soon as it is safe to do so. That return will be all the more meaningful when the time comes. In the meantime, I am confident that our Pioneer spirit will help us get through these challenging times. Go Pioneers!

Richard J. Helldobler, Ph.D.
Office of the President | 973.720.2222 |