Old Dominion postpones fall sports due to virus

Old Dominion announced on Monday that it is postponing all fall sports, including football, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

ODU is the first Conference USA team to announce it will not play this fall.

"We concluded that the season -- including travel and competition -- posed too great a risk for our student-athletes," school president John R. Broderick said.

Former Penn State offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne, who was hired in December to coach Old Dominion's football team, issued a statement saying his "heart aches for our student athletes," but that he supported the decision.

The postponement will also affect the field hockey, men's and women's soccer, and volleyball seasons. The school hopes to play its spring sports seasons pending NCAA approval.

Old Dominion joins UConn and the MAC in canceling fall football seasons.

On July 20, athletic director Wood Selig offered insight into the discussion in a Q&A on the school's news site.

"I'd have to say the only thing that's different now is that the coronavirus is bigger and badder than it was in March and that it is more widespread now than it was forecast to be," he said. "If it was a good idea in March to cease competition, I can't help but think it would be a smart idea to maintain that philosophy this fall."

Selig also said he doesn't feel like the spring sports season is a sure bet.

"If there's no vaccine in January, and we're still facing what we are today, is the spring really the answer or do we just keep kicking the can down the road like we have been?" he said. "In all honesty, as high contact as so many of our sports are, until there's a vaccine, I think we're just kidding ourselves that it's going to be safe (to play sports) and that we're going to be OK. If the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and others is the guiding principle for what we're doing, not revenue, not dollars and cents, then I think the decision is easy. I think it's obvious."