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Oklahoma Panhandle State University Rodeo Cancellation

Panhandle State Communications on 03/20/2020

Oklahoma Panhandle State University announces that all remaining rodeos in the Spring semester, 2020, will be canceled. This includes the OPSU Doc Gardner Memorial Rodeo on April 23, 24, & 25. This decision is based on the guidance of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) and the recommendation of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Today, the NIRA released the following statement: “The National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Board of Directors has made the decision to cancel the last few remaining rodeos in the spring season, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In keeping with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control guidance to avoid groups of 10 or more for the next eight weeks.

The NIRA added by saying, “As of now, the 2020 College National Finals Rodeo is still planned for June 14-20 in Casper, Wyoming. A final decision will be made by May 14th, with the advisement of the CDC and the State of Wyoming and their Public Health Departments.”

OPSU President, Dr. Tim Faltyn, stated, “This decision will affect many of our student-athletes who rodeo. We are saddened that they will not be able to compete, but their safety and health are our top priority.”

Head Rodeo Coach, Robert Etbauer, agreed, stating that “We appreciate all of the community, sponsor & fan’s support of the Doc Gardner Memorial Rodeo and we are sorry that NIRA is canceling the remaining Spring season which includes our rodeo. But the most important consideration for NIRA & ourselves is the health & safety of everyone. We’re planning on putting on a bigger and better rodeo next year.”

Assistant Women’s Rodeo Coach, Shelbie Rose, stated, “We are disappointed that we won’t have the opportunity to finish out the season and to host our hometown college rodeo and it breaks my heart for college rodeo athletes across the nation. My hope is that they hold true to the traditions of our way of life and hold their heads high and handle this situation with grace. Life will go on, and we will overcome these unfortunate events.”

OPSU will continue to provide updates as this situation develops through the University’s website, opsu.edu and social media.