The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced today that it is canceling most fall sports for the 2020-21 academic year due to COVID-19.
This action impacts UW Oshkosh conference seasons and championships in football, women’s volleyball, women’s soccer and men’s and women’s cross country. Institutions have the ability to establish practices throughout the 2020-21 year with limitations stipulated by the NCAA.
Competition in UWO’s women’s tennis and women’s golf will be suspended for the fall term. The WIAC seasons and championships in women’s tennis and women’s golf will be moved to the 2021 spring term.
“This is heartbreaking news,” said UWO Chancellor Andrew Leavitt. “We were saddened when we suspended our spring sports and at that time were hopeful we would be able to resume our seasons in the fall. This was not an easy decision to make.”
UWO’s Assistant Chancellor and Athletics Director Darryl Sims agreed that announcement was difficult.
“We understand this is an unpleasant decision, but we hope our student-athletes, coaches, administrators and support staff appreciate and understand that their health, safety and well-being are the driving force behind this action,” Sims said. “We believe that the decision is the best path forward given the guidelines and resocialization process set forth by the NCAA.”
The Council of Chancellors has been consulting with health authorities and athletics departments across the division and meeting regularly to discuss fall sports and the impact of COVID-19. UWO will now begin planning for the return of student-athletics to campus and preparing leadership and other activities to engage this segment of our population. Teams and athletes will have the opportunity to train and practice under improved safety protocols developed in partnership with public health officials.
Decisions related to winter sports will be made at a later date.