Fall championships at the NCAA Division II level were officially cancelled Wednesday due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to an announcement from the Division II Presidents Council.
The NCAA’s divisions were given individual discretion by the NCAA Board of Directors on what they wished to do for the upcoming fall season of championships. As a result, both Division II and Division III opted to cancel their fall championship postseasons.
“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,” council chair Sandra Jordan said in the statement. “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.”
A release from Division II noted that as of Wednesday, 11 of the 23 conferences at that level of play had announced that they would not compete during the traditional fall. The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, home of Bemidji State, has maintained plans for shortened, conference-only competition this coming fall.
Division II student athletes will be able to retain a season of eligibility if their team completes 50% or less of this upcoming season’s maximum number of contests for that sport. They would also receive an extension on the semesters and quarters of eligibility if their school would cancel the sport’s season.
The start of the fall season in the NSIC remains delayed, with football and cross country practice beginning September 2 and competition to follow on September 26. Volleyball and soccer practice is slated to start on September 8 with games beginning October 2.