MARYVILLE, Mo. — The NCAA Division II Presidents Council announced Wednesday the cancellation of fall sports championships.
Earlier in the day, the NCAA Board of Governors released requirements for competition in the fall. Northwest Missouri State Director of Athletics Andy Peterson had referred to the requirements as “not feasible” and “very far fetched” for Division-II programs. The Division II Presidents Council agreed.
“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,” Sandra Jordan, chancellor of South Carolina Aiken and chair of the council, said in a statement released by the NCAA. “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 release rules out moving the fall sport championships to the spring as some conferences were attempting.
In July, the Division II Administrative Committee approved waivers for Division II student-athletes to retain the use of the season. The decision essentially mean that if an athlete was set to be a junior in the 2020 fall season, he or she will remain a junior in 2021.
Peterson says the athletic directors in the MIAA were already set to have a virtual meeting on Thursday afternoon.
“We have some investigating to do to dig through what our options are, what we can actually do, what others thoughts are across the league,” Peterson said. “We will meet about it tomorrow and see what our next steps are.”
Peterson left the possibility open to playing a reduced football season in the spring which wouldn’t include the NCAA Playoffs, but said it was too early to say how viable of an option that is.
“Obviously its never happened before except probably since 1944, 1945 during World War II, and I wasn’t around then so I don’t know how it went,” Peterson said. “We talked about a reduced season and how many people actually would come to the games when they aren’t playing for a national championship. There are implications there that I can’t really speculate to. We will try to do what is best.”
The meeting on Thursday between athletic directors and any further guidance from the MIAA should help guide what the options are.
“Even though, we kind of felt like this was coming,” Peterson said, “it is hard in our world to plan too far in advance.”
Peterson says the Northwest athletics staff is focused on supporting and communicating with their fall-sport student-athletes.
“I’ve got 200-plus fall-sports student-athletes who I am most concerned about right now and figuring out what we can do for them,” Peterson said.
“Communication is what most coaches do really, really well with their student athletes. That hasn’t changed. The trouble right now is that our student-athletes have a lot more questions than we have answers for.”