Fall 2020 Guidance
In response to COVID-19, university courses and operations remain predominantly online for fall.

Fall 2020 Plan: Athletics

Find Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Find information regarding our Athletic operations for the fall semester. We will update this page regularly as we monitor the conditions surrounding the global coronavirus pandemic and as more details become available.

This web page reflects our plans based on current circumstances. These plans could change based on the level of student interest and possible future changes in public health requirements. 


Contact Dean Nathaniel Mays at nmays@lesley.edu, or Athletics Director Stephanie Smyrl at ssmyrl@lesley.edu.

Return to Campus Community Compact

Lesley students who are using in-person campus resources must read and sign our Return to Campus Community Compact (PDF) before arriving on campus. Students under the age of 18 must have their parent or guardian sign the Compact.


  • For information about tuition rates for the fall semester, please visit your account at the Student Account Center.

Athletics on Campus in the Fall

Which athletes are allowed on campus in the Fall? When do we come to campus?

  • Fall student-athletes may have the opportunity to participate in athletic training and conditioning activities, and can also apply to return to Cambridge and live in a hotel.
  • Nobody is required to come back to campus.
  • Our projected return-to-campus date is Sunday, September 6, 2020.
  • Coursework will be delivered online whether or not a student returns to campus this fall.
  • Fall student-athletes must submit their intent to participate in our in-person training, and they must submit their intent to live in the hotels, by August 10, 2020.  Email Athletics Director Stephanie Smyrl at ssmyrl@lesley.edu or Dean Nathaniel Mays at nmays@lesley.edu.
  • If too few students participate in the in-person program, we may change or cancel the program.

Athletic Competition

Will there be athletic competition in Fall 2020? What will we be focusing on if I come to campus?

  • The New England Collegiate Conference (NECC), Lesley’s Division III NCAA athletic conference, has canceled competition for the fall season. Additionally, the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) has canceled competition for women's tennis.
  • Instead of competition, we’ll focus on conditioning, team building, and preparation for potential spring play.


All returning fall student-athletes will be housed at the Sheraton Commander for approximately 10 weeks during the Fall 2020 semester. Some students may be familiar with the Commander, given its proximity to our Brattle Campus. Housing the Athletics program in this location will make it possible for students to live and train together while providing easy access to the training facilities on our Doble Campus. We are still confirming the practice locations.

Hotel Rates

The University has secured a reduced rate of $74/night (including tax). This is a significant discount from the Commander’s standard rates and is in line with what students would pay to live in a single room on campus. Unlike a single room on campus, the Commander rate includes private bathrooms for all rooms as well as weekly housekeeping. A Lesley student community advisor will be present in the hotel as well. 

Reserving a Hotel Room

Returning student-athletes may reserve a room at the Sheraton Commander for the duration of their program, which will be approximately 10 weeks, depending on their arrival and departure dates. Students must notify both Dean  Nathaniel Mays  (nmays@lesley.edu) and Stephanie Smyrl (ssmyrl@lesley.edu) if they want to take advantage of the in-person training option and the hotel housing option as soon as possible and no later than Friday, August 21, 2020. 

We will then let students know and inform the hotel of their names the following week, at which point students can call and make their reservations. Students are responsible for paying the hotel and paying for their meals directly. Please do not contact the hotel until you hear from Dean Mays. The hotel will give students reservations based on the program Lesley identifies for them, in this instance Athletics. During the booking process, the hotel will confirm with the University that the student is enrolled and approved to return to campus.   


Learn more about dining options and discounts at local restaurants.

Given the most recent guidance from the Governor’s Office, students may be required to eat all meals in their rooms. It is our hope that these guidelines will be relaxed and communal dining at the hotel will be possible.

Life on Campus as a Student-Athlete

What will life on campus be like as a Fall student-athlete? Where will student-athletes live?

  • The campus will remain closed with the exception of the times that student-athletes are permitted to use approved facilities. Upon completion of your workout, you will be expected to leave campus (no hanging out in the Fitness Center, on the Quad, or any other on-campus location/buildings).
  • Student-athletes will be required to wear face masks and practice social distancing.
  • No guests will be allowed in the hotel and student-athletes will not be able to work during the time that they are using campus facilities and/or living in the hotel.
  • Family members cannot join/stay with student-athletes in their hotel room.
  • Student-athletes will be expected to avoid off-campus gatherings (including apartment parties) that could increase the likelihood of exposure to COVID-19.
  • Most athletes (fall only) will be on campus to only use the Fitness Center during designated hours, or the Athletic Training Room (both by appointment only). All other buildings remain closed.
  • Training will most likely occur in the early morning (6:00 am-8:00 am) or the late evening (7:00 pm-8:30 pm or 8:30 pm-10:00 pm), working around academic courses and facility availability.
  • We will continue to offer remote training guidance for all student-athletes who cannot or choose not to participate in the in-person program.
  • The university is contracting with local hotels to accommodate housing and meals for on-campus athletes.

Returning to Campus Phase One: Transition Period

Can you describe what returning to campus will look like?

  • A 7- to 14-day transition period when athletes will be given time to properly progress through the physiologic and environmental stresses placed upon them as they return to required activities.
  • Athletes will be required to participate in the weekly COVID-19 testing protocol and screening directed by Lesley Health Services.
  • Athletes will have the opportunity to exercise under the supervision of their head coach.
  • Athletes will be kept in groups of 10 or fewer.
  • Athletes and staff will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to every athletic-related activity.

Returning to Campus Phase Two: Practice Period

  • This phase signifies that Phase One has been successfully implemented, with federal and state protocols involving personnel, athletes, and infrastructure criteria being satisfied.
  • Athletes will engage in six weeks of training, 3-4 times a week (depending on facility availability), and use the Fitness Center.
  • They will continue to train in groups of 10 or fewer, but the recommendations may change as we progress through Phase Two.
  • After the six weeks of practice, there will be three weeks of individual training, two times per week (depending on facility availability).
  • All athletes and staff will continue to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to every athletic-related activity.

Where to Find Information About the Fall

  • Lesley.edu/plan has all the general information we’ve released about the fall, including tuition, technology support, health and safety protocols, semester calendar, remote instruction, and more. This page is always up to date.