The NCAA Division III Presidents Council settled on the decision on Wednesday to cancel championships for all fall sports in the 2020-21 season. The decision was made “due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related administrative and financial challenges,” as per the NCAA.
“Looking at the health and safety challenges we face this fall during this unprecedented time, we had to make this tough decision to cancel championships for fall sports this academic year in the best interest of our student-athlete and member institutions,” said Tori Murden McClure, chair of the Presidents Council and president at Spalding. “Our Championships Committee reviewed the financial and logistical ramifications if Division III fall sports championships were conducted in the spring and found it was logistically untenable and financially prohibitive.”
Also, the Division II Presidents Council made a comparative declaration.
“After reviewing and discussing the Board of Governors’ directives, the Division II Presidents Council made the difficult decision that holding fall championships in any capacity was not a viable or fiscally responsible option for Division II,” said Sandra Jordan, chancellor of South Carolina Aiken and chair of the council. “This decision was discussed very thoroughly, and I assure you, it was not made lightly. It is important to note that fall student-athletes will be given eligibility-related flexibility to allow them championship opportunities in the future. As we move forward, we will continue to focus on providing the best championships experience for our winter and spring student-athletes who were not afforded those opportunities at the beginning of this pandemic.”
The Board of Governors is permitting every division to settle on their own independent decision with respect to their fall sport championships. While Division III settled on their decision on Wednesday, the NCAA is letting different divisions have until Aug. 21 to make final decisions on whether fall sports will feature championships.
Some Division I conferences have just settled on major decisions in regards to their particular fall sports schedules. The Ivy League canceled all fall sports and became the primary conference to do as such. Furthermore, the Big East, Big Ten, and Pac 12 have just declared that they’re canceling their non-conference games.
On Wednesday, UConn became the first FBS school to quit the 2020 football season because of the coronavirus pandemic. Huskies athletic director David Benedict refered to the safety of the school’s student athletes as a purpose behind the decision.