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Iona Rugby Announces It Won't Play This Fall

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Iona Rugby Announces It Won't Play This Fall

Iona vs Notre Dame from 2019. Iona College Rugby.

Iona College Rugby has decided not to compete this fall.

Iona Head Coach Bruce McLane told Goff Rugby Report today, Wednesday, that the team will not play any games at least until 2021.

McLane said he expects most teams in the Northeast to come to this decision at some point, and decided that the students would benefit from an early decision.

"Looking at the circumstances and the uncertainty we decided to just cancel our fall season and do activities as a team as are deemed OK by the University," he said. McLane added that there's a financial aspect to the decision, at least as far as the student-athletes are concerned. "I wanted to do it early enough so kids could stay home and do online classes and not have to pay room and board if they didn't want to."

Iona, based in new Rochelle, NY, is right in the middle of the Tri-State area, which has been hit hard by COVID-19. Most states in the Northeast have, and it does not look like many of the athletic conferences that serve those areas will be active. Already AIC announced that its rugby programs will not play, following the lead of the NE10 Conference. That's the conference most AIC sports teams are in, and while the rugby teams play other opponents, they decided to go along with the NE10 decision.

AIC Rugby Follows AD Lead, No Rugby This Fall

The Atlantic 10 Conference has made a similar decision to the NE10, delaying all fall sports. Among the Atlantic 10 schools are St. Bonaventure, Fordham, St. Joseph's, URI, UMass, Dayton, SLU, and La Salle.

Iona plays rugby in the Liberty Conference, which includes AIC (and Fordham, URI, and UMass) and is a Northeast-region conference. 

In a note to his players, McLane told them that "I just don't think cobbling together a season is the smartest option."

McLane received notes of support from his Athletic Director Matt Glovaski and AD in charge of sports medicine, Sam Derosa. Both said that the rugby team's decision was the safest option for the students.