While intercollegiate athletic competition has been sidelined at Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ) for the fall semester to keep students safe, the Cumberland and Gloucester athletic departments continue to exercise a competitive edge on both campuses.
Sporting events this season may have been paused due to safety concerns brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, but RCSJ athletes will not be sitting this semester out completely. On the playing fields, coaches will hold practices using a phased approach —beginning with small pods of approximately 5 to 10 student-athletes — expanding as safety guidelines are diligently followed. Further advancement through the phases will be approved following discussion between coaches, athletic administrators and campus leadership.
“RCSJ stands with our student-athletes during these difficult times. While we will not participate this fall in competitive schedules, we do plan to put together programming to maintain engagement, support academics and mental health, and give opportunities for safe training as student-athletes look to attain their goals and improve," stated Roadrunners Executive Director of Athletics Brian Rowan. “We are working together with our conference, region and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) to give all our student-athletes a chance to compete during the spring of 2021."
Although it was a difficult decision to interrupt play for the fall semester, RCSJ coaches and faculty stand committed to providing athletes with training and skill development from one of the best coaching staffs in the country. Advisement, tutoring and academic monitoring are part of the game plan to ensure student success. Professors work closely with athletic support staff to provide real-time progress reports that help students to stay on track and graduate. Plans are also in motion to help expand student-athlete exposure by recording practices and distributing videos to four-year universities.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for student-athletes to continue their athletic careers playing at a highly competitive level with regional and nationally-renowned programs, while advancing academically— all at an affordable college," said Dukes Athletic Director Jonathan Dijamco. “The decision to suspend official intercollegiate athletic competition during the fall 2020 semester was made following extensive discussions. The core of every discussion was the health and safety— physical and mental— of our student-athletes, and we believe this is the best course of action. The regular season for spring sports is not affected by this decision and, at this time, are expected to operate as planned."
At both the Cumberland and Gloucester campuses, RCSJ's athletic programs have received National Championship recognition. During the 2019-2020 academic year, 33 Cumberland and 94 Gloucester athletes were named to the Athletic All-Academic Team for earning a 3.0 GPA or higher. Forty-one of RCSJ's student-athletes earned NJCAA All-Academic honors.
For more information about RCSJ's Athletic programs, visit DukesAthletics.com and RCRoadrunners.com. Stay in the game and register now at RCSJ.edu/Enroll.
Rowan College of South Jersey is a comprehensive, two-year regional college serving more than 10,000 full- and part-time students with degree and workforce development programs, on campuses in Gloucester and Cumberland Counties. Rowan College of South Jersey is fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.