By Jensen, Randy on September 5, 2020.
The University of Lethbridge and Pronghorn Athletics have suspended its Pronghorns women’s soccer program after discovering it was breaking sport cohort protocols, the university announced in a statement on Friday.
While Canada West and U SPORT soccer seasons were cancelled this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teams were permitted to continue to practise in a cohort setting under regular-season eligibility rules. The women’s soccer program was found to be allowing players outside the Horns soccer sport cohort to participate in practices, thereby breaking the university’s sport cohort protocols.
Upon discovering the violations, Pronghorn Athletics immediately suspended the program and notified Alberta Health Services that sport cohort protocols had been broken. There is no indication anyone associated with the program or the practices has contracted or been exposed to COVID-19, only that protocol was broken, the U of L said in the statement. Pronghorn Athletics will continue to work with Alberta Health Services and follow their direction going forward.
“I am extremely disappointed in the leadership of our women’s soccer program and that we have to take this punitive action,” said Neil Langevin, director of Pronghorn Athletics, in the release. “We were very meticulous in educating our coaches on what was expected of them during this time and what our specific COVID-19 protocols entailed.
“While we are confident everyone associated with the program is healthy, the protocols are in place for a very good reason and no one should have been put at risk. There is nothing more important than the health and safety of our student-athletes and our potential recruits.”
For the health and safety of the student-athletes, the program and practices have been suspended for the time being and will resume based on advice from Alberta Health Services, the statement concluded.