Division II’s seven fall 2020 championships are canceled, the Division II Presidents Council decided Wednesday due to the operational, logistical and financial challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The council made the move after the NCAA Board of Governors directed each division to make a decision on its fall sport championships. The Board of Governors also directed each division to meet various requirements to compete in the fall. Those directives include that all member institutions apply the resocialization principles to fall sports and set a 50% sponsorship threshold for a fall sport championship to be conducted, among other requirements. As of Wednesday, 11 of the 23 Division II conferences had announced they will not compete during the traditional fall season.
All fall sports activity (preseason, regular season and postseason) must follow the recently released return-to-sport guidelines from the NCAA Sport Science Institute for all athletic activity. As the guidelines change based on the ever-changing pandemic, schools must follow any future modifications.
The NCAA will establish a phone number and email to allow college athletes, parents or others to report alleged failures. The Association will notify school and conference administrators, who will be expected to take immediate action.
All member schools must adhere to federal, state and local guidelines related to COVID-19. Further, the conduct of NCAA championships must be in line with federal, state and local guidelines.
All student-athletes must be allowed to opt out of participation due to concerns about contracting COVID-19. If a college athlete chooses to opt out, that individual’s athletics scholarship commitment must be honored by the college or university.
Each division must determine no later than Aug. 14 the eligibility accommodations that must be made for student-athletes who opt out of participating this fall or for those whose seasons are canceled or cut short due to COVID-19. College athletes and their families must know what their eligibility status will be before beginning the fall season.
Member schools may not require student-athletes to waive their legal rights regarding COVID-19 as a condition of athletics participation.
Member schools, in conjunction with existing insurance standards, must cover COVID-19 related medical expenses for student-athletes to prevent out-of-pocket expenses for college athletes and their families.
Any NCAA fall championship or other postseason contests must be conducted within enhanced safety protocols for student-athletes and essential athletics personnel. These safety enhancements will include regular testing, separation of college athletes and essential personnel from all other nonessential personnel, and physical distancing and masking policies during all aspects of non-competition.