Carnegie Mellon University Athletics COVID-19 FAQs – Spring Semester - Updated March 5

Carnegie Mellon University Athletics COVID-19 FAQs – Spring Semester - Updated March 5

The following FAQ document is intended to serve as a resource for the Carnegie Mellon Athletics community. It will be updated as more information becomes available.

Full Athletic Facilities/Recreation Reopening Plans - Spring 2021 - pdf

Will Carnegie Mellon University sports compete this 2020-2021 academic year?

Carnegie Mellon University Tartans will resume intercollegiate athletics competition on Saturday, March 6th. All sports have a competition schedule and are updated on each team’s schedule page.

How will I know if there are any changes to the current schedule?

The Carnegie Mellon Athletics website will have the latest updates to any changes or cancellations to our competition schedule.

Will spectators be permitted to attend competitions?

As of Saturday, March 20, Carnegie Mellon has amended its guidance to allow limited visitors for outdoor athletic events. Off-campus venues will follow the same approach as on-campus venues.

As a result of the increasing number of COVID positives in Allegheny County, starting Saturday, March 27, CMU community members (i.e. students, staff and faculty) will no longer be permitted to attend indoor athletics events.

Will events be webcast?

Yes, whenever possible. We will have live webcasts or home events and they will be streamed on our website.

Do you have limits on the number of spectators that will be allowed at an event?

Yes. 350 spectators for Gesling Stadium, 100 spectators for other outdoor events. Still 25 spectators for community members indoors venues.

Where will your sports compete on and off campus?

Basketball – Skibo Gymnasium
Football – Gesling Stadium
Soccer – Soccer/IM Field
Softball – All-American Ball Park in Trafford, PA
Swim and Dive – Pool in the Cohon University Center
Tennis (Outdoors) – Tennis Courts on Campus
Tennis (Indoors) – Oxford Athletic Club in Wexford, PA; Alpha in Harmar, PA; Lakevue in Valencia,PA
Track and Field – Gesling Stadium
Volleyball – Wiegand Gym in Cohon University Center

Is Carnegie Mellon Testing their student-athletes?

Yes. Each varsity athlete is required to receive a COVID-19 test through the Tartan Testing Program every week. Student-athletes who do not get tested will not be eligible to participate in any competition.

Are visiting teams following NCAA protocols?

Yes. All teams that come to compete are Carnegie Mellon University must comply with the NCAA Resocialization of Collegiate Sport: Developing Standards for Practice and Competition, Second Edition.

How will teams practice and meet safely?

The safety and well-being of our student-athletes, staff and community is at the forefront of these decisions. We will adhere to the NCAA’s Core Principles of Resocialization of Collegiate Sport and follow CDC, federal, state, local and university guidelines as we start athletic activity. There will be a phased approach that will consist of small group training, socially distanced strength and conditioning exercises and instruction from the coaches. As we move through the phased approach to athletic activity, additional decisions will be made about more physically interactive activities.

A testing plan will be implemented this spring semester in conjunction with the university’s testing approach. All athletes will be tested weekly in order to participate in practices and team engagements as per NCAA return to play recommendations. Daily screenings and temperature checks will be required of our athletes in order to participate in any athletic activities.

Should student-athletes report if they have tested positive for COVID-19?

Yes. Student-athletes are expected to report any positive test that they have had to their athletic trainer if they plan on participating in intercollegiate athletics this year. The athletic training staff will coordinate required notifications to the university to initiate contact tracing and to provide ongoing support and care.

When are student-athletes expected to return to campus for second semester?

All student-athletes living in residence this spring are encouraged to return to campus by January 23rd so that they may begin the mandatory two-week quarantine. After that period we will go through the next two phases of the NCAA resocialization of sport. Intercollegiate practices and team engagements will begin February 6th once the mandatory two-week quarantine is complete for the majority of student-athletes. For student-athletes who return after January 23, they will not be permitted to practice until their quarantine is complete.

Will student-athletes use a year of eligibility if they engage in athletically-related activity within the declared playing season in which no outside competition will be conducted?

No. A student-athlete is only charged with a season of participation when the student-athlete participates (practices or competes) during or after the first contest in the traditional segment. If the student-athlete's engagement in athletically-related activity does not include outside competition, the student-athlete may practice without being charged with a season of participation.

The NCAA has issued two blanket waivers providing relief for student-athletes during the 2020-2021 academic year. The first waiver is a season of participation waiver which allows all student-athletes (Fall, Winter, Spring) not be charged the use of a season of participation for any participation that occurs during the 2020-21 academic year. The second waiver is the extension waiver which allows all student-athletes eligible for competition receive an extension of their 10 semester/15quarter enrollment limit for each semester/quarter used during the 2020-21 academic year.

Do student-athletes still need to fill out NCAA compliance paperwork and complete physicals to participate in athletically-related activities?

Yes. All paperwork related to athletic activity must be completed to ensure proper record keeping within the institution and the NCAA. Medical clearances will remain the same as in the past with all student-athletes who want to participate in practices and strength and conditioning programming.

Will the athletic training room be open?

Yes, but by appointment only. Our athletic training staff will be there to help with rehabilitations and treatments throughout the school year. ATCs will provide direct and personal care to all student-athletes in accordance with health and safety guidelines. Facial coverings, physical distancing and hand-washing requirements will be strictly enforced. Proper sanitization procedures will be put into place to deep clean the athletic training rooms throughout the day.

Will the equipment rooms be open?

The equipment rooms will not be open for laundry services during the spring semester. We will re-evaluate as the semester progresses.

Will team locker rooms be open?

The team locker rooms remain closed for the semester but will be re-evaluated throughout the spring.

If a student-athlete decides to defer enrollment, can they participate in virtual team meetings throughout the semester with the team members and coaches?

No. Per NCAA rules a student-athlete cannot participate in virtual team activities if they have deferred enrollment. A student-athlete must be enrolled full-time in order to participate in virtual team meetings.

Will the 10-semester clock begin if a student-athlete decides to defer enrollment at Carnegie Mellon but enroll in some courses at a local college?

The student-athlete cannot be enrolled full-time, otherwise the 10-semester clock will begin.

Can a student-athlete who has another year of eligibility graduate on time and come back to play the following fall season?

No. A student-athlete must be enrolled in classes at the institution in order to participate that semester in intercollegiate competition.

Specific to Carnegie Mellon, would a first-year student be allowed to defer admission?

Admitted students can defer their enrollment one year at a time for up to two consecutive years as long as they agree not to apply to or enroll in a full- or part-time degree-granting program at another college or university in the interim. An approved deferral will secure your place in the incoming class for the following fall and housing eligibility. To request a deferral, simply submit your enrollment deposit and email the Office of Admission letting them know you'd like to defer for the year. They will then send you an official enrollment deferral request form. Please note the request isn't approved until the admission office processes it and sends you an official confirmation letter.

Can a first-year student take one semester off?

No. Since all first-year students are required to enter the university during the fall semester, deferrals for one semester only are not permitted.

When do I need to make the decision to defer enrollment?

Students can defer up until the first day of classes. Students should email the Office of Admission for more information on the deferral process.

What is the process for upperclassmen who defer enrollment or take a semester off?

Upperclassmen would need to put in a request for a leave of absence. Leaves of absences are handled on a case-by-case basis. You can find the policy for a leave of absence here. Also, the website to the Student Leave Policy.

Can a student take classes while deferring enrollment?

Students interested in taking classes at another institution while deferring enrollment at Carnegie Mellon should consult with their college for advising on what courses would be eligible for transfer, and the requirements needed to maintain the ability to matriculate at Carnegie Mellon following the year.

Are prospective student-athletes allowed to visit?

At this time the campus is closed to outside visitors and not conducting on-campus visits.

Are campus recreation activities being conducted this spring semester?

Intramurals will not take place this spring semester.

Can club sports compete?

Club sports will not travel or compete during the spring semester. Club sports will be permitted to engage in practices pending a full review of their plans. Formal plans must be submitted to SLICE/Athletics for review. If approved, the club will work with the Athletics Department to go over practice times and facility needs. All student engagements will be approved by Associate Director of Athletics Sara Gauntner and scheduled by Sara and Coordinator of Intramurals and Club Sports Jarrod Novotny. Jarrod will be in attendance at club sport practices to ensure adherence to all policies and procedures.

Will the athletic facilities be open this fall?

Yes. The full athletic facility plan can be found here.

What services will NOT be available for the Spring 2021?

The following services will not be offered this fall:

  • Personal training
  • Learn to Swim
  • Guest passes – only Carnegie Mellon community members will be permitted to use the facility
  • Towel Service
  • Laundry Service
  • Locker Rentals
  • Equipment Check-Out

Will the outdoor facilities be open during inclement weather?

During the winter months the outdoor basketball and tennis courts may be closed due to inclement weather. All facilities are being monitored by staff throughout the semester.

Will the facilities be open during varsity program engagements?

The facilities may close during varsity program engagements throughout the day.

NCAA COVID-19 Resources:

Division III COVID-19 Q&A - pdf

NCAA Social Series

The New Normal: Stories from Campus

NCAA Sport Science Institute updates resocialization guidelines

COVID-19 and Mental Health

Carnegie Mellon COVID-19 Resources:

University COVID-19 Homepage

Academics and Remote Instruction FAQ

Housing, Dining and Transportation FAQ