The University of Wisconsin-Superior has suspended athletic activity for the rest of the fall semester, athletic director Nick Bursik confirmed Wednesday, Nov. 11.

Bursik said the Yellowjackets had the health and safety of their student athletes and campus community in mind when making the decision amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“This pause does not impact any of our team’s schedules as we were not slated to compete until January when the conference seasons start,” Bursik said. “We are still hopeful and working to be in a position to do so.”

Bursik said student-athletes were notified Tuesday morning. The majority of the Yellowjackets’ programs only had a week’s worth of activities and workouts remaining for this semester, anyway, as UWS planned on going online after Thanksgiving.

“We are hopeful winter sports can resume around shortly after the holidays in preparation for the start of their conference season,” Bursik added.

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Interestingly, with Mertz Mortorelli Gymnasium being repurposed as a COVID-19 testing site, the Yellowjackets made arrangements to rent facilities at Superior High School.

But when the Spartans made the decision to switch to online and close their facilities, the Superior YMCA stepped up.

“We were fortunate enough to be welcomed by the Superior Y,” Bursik said. “It was our plan to practice there until our gym was available again. We only ended up utilizing their gym once (Monday, Nov. 9) for a women’s basketball practice.”

Meanwhile, across the bridge in Duluth, St. Scholastica, like UWS a member of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference, is continuing as the Saints have been, according to CSS sports information director Jesse Robinson.

Robinson said the Saints’ campus COVID level is not to the point of shutting down athletic activity. He said winter sports started Oct. 1, and all the Saints’ sports have already practiced this year, even spring sports.

For fall sports, CSS had a few weeks of intrasquad activities with soccer and volleyball. Football never got to that point because the campus level elevated, ending the scrimmages. Fall sports are done now for the most part, other than a workout sprinkled in here and there.

“Just feels like July all over again,” Robinson said.