St. Joseph’s College will look to pick up games this winter for its sports teams despite cancellation of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference’s winter season and championships.

The GNAC, an NCAA Division III conference that includes teams throughout New England, announced Monday afternoon that it was canceling winter seasons and championships in men’s and women’s basketball, indoor track and swimming and diving, following a vote by conference presidents.

The announcement left open the possibility for member schools, which includes St. Joe’s, to pick up non-conference games. “With the health and well-being of students and staff as the highest priority, each GNAC institution may plan for student-athlete training, conditioning opportunities, and non-conference competition consistent with federal and state public health recommendations, the NCAA, and institutional guidelines,” the league’s statement read.

St. Joe’s Athletic Director Will Sanborn said the Monks will pursue competitive opportunities, even if they don’t come until late winter.

“I’m hopeful. If we can push things back, hopefully conditions will allow it,” he said. “Maybe February, maybe even March. It depends on what other people are doing, how the state is doing and what the mood is around the country, too.

“We just want to try to get some games because, obviously, any type of competition the athletes can have, they’re going to look forward to it.”


Sanborn said there are many factors that will go into any decision to play games. “No. 1 is  our situation here on campus, which is very good right now,” he said. “Then there’s the situation throughout the state and being able to find opponents. Then the testing has to match up. We’ve got to be able to provide that.”

St. Joe’s offers basketball, indoor track and swimming and diving in the winter. It also competes in men’s and women’s Alpine skiing in the United States Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Association, not the GNAC.

The GNAC decision follows that of the New England Small College Athletic Conference, which canceled its winter season on Oct. 8. The NESCAC includes Bowdoin, Bates and Colby.

“It’s been talked about and we knew that early November was going to be the time the decision was made,” said Sanborn. “We weren’t sure exactly what the decision would be. But when you’ve got a conference with teams from every state in New England, that plays a role too. Everything has to fit together.”

Comments are not available on this story.