The Division II Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association and Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference have suspended fall sports and championship events due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The leagues announced the move Thursday and issued a joint statement, saying that “the welfare of our student-athletes is sacrosanct and must preempt all other considerations when evaluating any return to competition efforts.”
“The CIAA and SIAC both appreciate and understand the significant impact that today’s announcements with regard to the status of 2020 Fall sports," the conferences said in the joint statement. "Both the CIAA and SIAC enjoy athletic-related events, traditions, and rivalries that date back over one-hundred years. However, in light of the increased health and safety risks confronting much of the country, today the CIAA and SIAC affirm that the welfare of our student-athletes is sacrosanct and must preempt all other considerations when evaluating any return to competition efforts.”
In its release, the CIAA said it would explore a possible modified competition schedule for football, volleyball, and men's and women's cross country for the spring.
There is no time frame for making that decision.
The CIAA said they will honor athletic scholarships for their fall sports student-athletes.
“The main priority of the Board and conference is the safety and well-being of our students and staff,” states Virginia State University President & CIAA Board Chair Makola Abdullah in the statement. “Although this decision is not ideal, it does afford all of us an opportunity to continue working through best practices to ensure our communities as a whole are in the best possible position moving forward.”
The league, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, said it would discuss plans for winter and spring sports.
Atlanta-based SIAC said it would also look at moving some fall sports such as football into the spring.