NCAA Division II and III championships for fall sports canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic
The decision was also made because of 'financial challenges,' according to the NCAA.
The NCAA Division III Presidents Council made 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," according to 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-athletes 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.”
In addition, the Division II Presidents Council made a similar announcement.
"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 allowing each division to make its own independent decision in regards to their fall sport championships. While Division III made their decision on Wednesday, the NCAA is letting the other divisions have until Aug. 21 to make final rulings on whether fall sports will feature championships.
Some Division I conferences have already made big decisions regarding their respective fall sports schedules. The Ivy League canceled all fall sports and became the first conference to do so. In addition, the Big East, Big Ten, and Pac 12 have already announced that they're canceling their non-conference games.
On Wednesday, UConn became the first FBS school to opt out of the 2020 football season as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Huskies athletic director David Benedict cited the safety of the school’s student-athletes as a reason for the decision.