NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The SFA Athletic Department is standing by their decision to hold their annual Golden Axe Awards Ceremony while also responding to concerns over the size of the crowd at the event and what appeared to be no mask policy.
The event took place Wednesday night and was held at the Fredonia Hotel. In pictures posted on social media by the department you can see a large crowd of athletes, coaches, staff and family members in a ball room with no masks.
Criticism quickly followed on social media with replies and retweets by people asking why masks were not worn or why there was no social distancing. There were also comments about graduating students being limited to six tickets while this event was allowed to take place. On campus events require that mask be worn and that there is a limited crowd size. According to Athletic Director Ryan Ivey there was no mask mandate for the venue that was off campus.
“Since July 1, 2020, we have administered 11,117 COVID tests with a positivity rate of 1.06%,” Ivey said. “Ninety-two percent of the coaches and staff as well as 40% of Student-athletes are vaccinated. The Golden Axes was held off campus, and complied with all state and local guidelines. Our goal is and always will be to protect our student-athletes. I was honored to celebrate their on and off the field accomplishments while representing SFA all year long in their respective sports and academic disciplines.”
The university and department also released a statement stating that they would look at how to better handle events in the future.