MVC postpones fall schedules, championships

MVC postpones fall schedules, championships
The decision was based on uncertainty around the ability to play full-season league schedules safely amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the lack of fall NCAA championship opportunity. (Source: KFVS)

CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - The Missouri Valley Conference announced it has postponed conference schedules and championships for fall sports.

The decision was based on uncertainty around the ability to play full-season league schedules safely amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the lack of fall NCAA championship opportunity.

This impacts MVC sports that compete in their championship seasons in the fall, such as men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball.

The conference will continue to evaluate options for competition in these sports and potentially participating in NCAA championships in spring 2021.

Plans for MVC-sponsored winter sports such as men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, women’s swimming and diving; as well as spring sports such as baseball, softball, women’s tennis, men’s and women’s golf and men’s and women’s outdoor track and field; are not impacted at this time.

According to the MVC, during the fall months, student-athletes in all sports will be allowed to participate in athletically-related activities like nonconference competition, practices, strength and conditioning sessions and team meetings.

At Southern Illinois University, coaches said:

“Our hope is that this move is going to allow our student-athletes to have a more complete competitive experience, keep them safe and give them an opportunity for some to hopefully finish their college career on a high note. We’ll treat the fall like it’s our non-traditional season, like what the spring was — flip what we do. We’ll start out with an eight-hour (practice) window the first couple of weeks and then make some decision about when we’re going to move to that 20-hour window. We have a large freshman class and this will allow them to adjust to classes in a more comfortable way.”
SIU Volleyball Coach Ed Allen
“This obviously is an expected outcome but it doesn’t take away from the sadness I feel for our players who have been working very diligently in order to be able to compete and represent SIU this fall. I’m disappointed that they won’t have that opportunity. I certainly understand and support the decision to keep our student-athletes safe. We will look for the positives in this decision, one of which is that our institution is going to try to provide us with an opportunity to continue training. With the youth of our program, the opportunity to practice, to teach and to learn more will benefit us a tremendous amount as we look ahead to Missouri Valley Conference play in the spring.”
SIU Soccer Coach Grant Williams
“Given the climate right now, I would be naive to say that I’m shocked at the news of the cancellation of our fall cross country season. But I am very, very disappointed. Our students and staff have worked hard, and yet have seen three championship seasons canceled. It’s tough, but I respect leadership’s decision in thinking of the safety and well-being of our student-athletes and staff. That is most important. We will use this time to regroup and work on our resiliency. I know our students will need a lot of support, outside of sport, and so our focus will be to make sure they are coping well, remaining focused on academics and creating confidence in their identity outside of sport. This is what we do, but it’s not all that we are. We have talented and brilliant students who will rebound and thrive moving forward. This time away from competition will just give us all a chance to be better at who we are.”
SIU Director of Track and Field/Cross Country Rosalind Joseph

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