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Rogers State senior and Catoosa alum Jesus Ramirez is among the Hillcat athletes affected by the delayed start to fall sports.

The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association and its member institutions, including Rogers State, announced a plan to delay the start of all intercollegiate athletic practices until the week of Aug. 31 with the start of competition delayed until the week of Sept. 28.

"As an athletic department, we are driven to compete and give our student-athletes the full experience of college athletics," Rogers State athletic director Chris Ratcliff said. "Our top priority is the health and safety of our Hillcat student-athletes and making sure that they will be able to compete in a healthy environment for everyone involved."

The MIAA CEO Council will continue to monitor the plan and adjust it as necessary to protect the health and safety of all involved in MIAA athletics. The MIAA also plans to announce restrictions and limitations on student-athlete and coach activities leading up to the Aug. 31 start of MIAA practices.

The CEO Council supported the recommendation to delay the start of all MIAA all intercollegiate athletic practices and competition. However, the group acknowledged that the ability to execute this plan is dependent on students, employees and fans demonstrating socially responsible behavior during this public-health crisis.

"This plan allows our student-athletes to get back on campus and get acclimated with the student body before we begin practices and competition," MIAA Commissioner Mike Racy said. "We remain hopeful that the MIAA student-athletes will be able to practice and compete this fall, but we need to be patient and make sure that we are doing that in a healthy and safe environment for our student-athletes, coaches, and administrators."

The plan will allow Rogers State, along with other MIAA member universities, to continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and make decisions about athletics and other campus activities based on conditions in MIAA communities and with guidance from local and state health officials.

"We encourage everyone to wear masks and follow guidelines so that our society may reach a point where we can return to full athletic competition, without risking the health of our student-athletes, athletic staff, fans and community,” Ratcliff said.

The health and well-being of Rogers State's student-athletes, coaches, administrators and the Claremore community, as well as those throughout the MIAA and its communities, continue to be a top priority for the Rogers State athletic department. 

Rogers State stands with MIAA in taking these unprecedented actions to help our campuses and communities continue to address this public-health crisis.

More information regarding Rogers State athletic competitions, including previously scheduled fall sporting events, will be announced as it becomes available. For the latest information on all Rogers State athletic programs, be sure to visit rsuhillcats.com or @RSUhillcats on social media.

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