In an announcement today, “The Summit League’s Presidents Council agreed to delay the start of fall sports for member institutions until Sept. 23 based upon the recommendation from the League’s Joint Council due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” The statement went on to state that the Council would continue to be “flexible in an ever-changing environment”.
As for DU athletics, the delay will result in a conference-only schedule for the sports of women’s soccer, men’s soccer and volleyball. Competitive schedules for men’s and women’s men’s and women’s golf and men’s and women’s tennis will also be delayed until September 23. The delay will not impact any Summit League winter or spring sports at this time.
In more national NCAA news, the NCAA Division I Competition Oversight Committee has agreed to a waiver that allows all fall sports to play 50 percent fewer games to meet minimum requirements. This is especially important now with more and more conferences moving to a conference-only format that eliminates a number of games from every program’s schedule. The waiver would apply to DU’s sports to include men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball.
Several conferences have either pushed back the start dates for fall sports or moved fall sports to the spring as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The NCAA Board of Governors has elected to wait until August to decide if they will pull the plug on fall sports, postpone, or reschedule to the spring.
In a statement Monday, the NCAA said the change allows teams that play in the fall to avoid rescheduling nonconference games already canceled. They also approved modifications to selection requirements for NCAA fall championships. Teams will not be required to have at least a .500 record to earn an at-large selection.
While none of the Power 5 conferences have yet moved fall sports to the spring, both the Big Ten and Pac-12 are limiting competition to in-conference only. All 14 SEC athletic directors are meeting to discuss options for the fall season, while the ACC and Big 12 are expected to determine their plans by the end of this month.
The NCAA is expected to make a final decision on fall sports and championships by the first two weeks of August.