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College of the Ozarks suspends fall athletic competitions

College of the Ozarks athletic complex
College of the Ozarks athletic complex(KY3)
Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 4:40 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The pandemic has forced tough decisions for college sports. The College of the Ozarks has suspended all fall athletic competitions.

Volleyball, cross country, and golf athletes will be impacted by the suspension at College of the Ozarks. The suspension also includes School of the Ozarks.

Empty stands and no athletes on the court: That is what the Howell W. Keeter Athletic Complex on the College of the Ozarks’ campus will likely look like for the next few months.

”This is a tough, tough decision and we hate it for our student athletes,” said Valorie Coleman, public relations director for College of the Ozarks.

Coleman said it is possible athletics will resume in the spring. She said the decision was made with a heavy heart for the student athletes and coaches.

”It’s certainly disappointing, it’s always hard, it’s hard to say that something that you’ve worked for is not going to take place, but they’re strong, they’re resilient, they’re competitive and we have an amazing athletic program here,” Coleman said.

It’s not just the athletes that will feel the impact.

”All of the students work to offset the cost of their tuition,” Coleman said.

The college that coins the name “Hard Work U” assigns some of their students to work athletic competitions.

”I am sure that our dean of work will be looking at that closely to see how we can realign, possibly re-assign or just have them work other areas," Coleman said.

Coleman said, though the decision was tough, school officials felt it was one of the only ways to get students back on campus safely.

”We are slated to start on time and continue through our calendar. We are just looking to make every decision we can to keep everyone safe and health and to complete that fall semester,” she said.

Coleman said all coaches are also faculty members and will have teaching and coaching responsibilities, even though athletic competitions are suspended. This decision will not affect student athletes’ scholarships.

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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