BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (OVC) – The Ohio Valley Conference Board of Presidents has announced fall competition and championships in the sports of football, men’s and women’s cross country, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball will be postponed due to the concerns and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision also includes the fall competitive schedules for men’s and women’s golf and men’s and women’s tennis as well as the non-traditional competition seasons for baseball and softball.
OVC football-playing institutions that are able to demonstrate a team’s willingness and readiness to compete based on the NCAA’s Resocialization of Collegiate Sport: Developing Standards for Practice and Competition and the NCAA’s mental health guidance are approved to play up to four nonconference scheduled games.
In making its determination, the Board asked the conference membership to develop plans for conference competition and championships in the spring semester for the impacted sports.
“After careful deliberation, weighing all the factors as presented, and given the current uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the OVC Board of Presidents voted to postpone the Conference’s fall sports to the spring, said Beth DeBauche, OVC Commissioner. With the focus on student-athletes, the Conference leaders made this value-based decision with a commitment to continue to monitor the evolving situation and to strive to establish meaningful competitive opportunities in the spring for our fall sport student-athletes.
“While we understand there are many student-athletes, families, and communities that are disappointed by the lack of Conference competition this fall, and we deeply share that disappointment; it is the OVC’s ardent intention to ensure seasons postponed are not seasons canceled if the facts support it. I want to thank our student-athletes and coaches for their resilience during these trying times, our staff and administrators for all their hard work and planning over the past five months, and the presidents and chancellors for their strong and principled leadership over this outstanding Conference.”
Athletically-related activities for enrolled student-athletes will be evaluated consistent with NCAA legislation and guidance, as well as state, local and institutional parameters and communicated to OVC institutions and its student-athletes accordingly.
The plans to play scheduled winter and spring sports remains unaffected at this time.
Here is a statement from EKU Director of Athletics Matt Roan …
“These are unprecedented times without a roadmap to help navigate. My heart breaks for our student-athletes who will not have the opportunity to compete this fall, and who continue to live daily with uncertainty surrounding their competitive seasons in this academic year. Our job remains to provide support to THEM in every facet of their student-athlete experience!
The Ohio Valley Conference decision to postpone fall sports is one that we respect. Having confidence in our ability to effectively support and provide championship opportunities for student-athletes makes the plan to move volleyball and soccer to the spring a viable one. Moving cross country to the spring in direct conflict with indoor and outdoor track & field is not practical, but we look forward to a successful spring. We are disappointed that our men’s and women’s golf, softball and baseball student-athletes cannot compete as teams this fall, but we also look forward to watching them compete for championships in the spring.
Due to logistical, organizational, and other concerns related to a potential spring football season, EKU is continuing to explore all options to play football in the fall.
With each of these decisions, the wants and desires of our student-athletes and their safety, health and well-being are supreme in terms of our decision-making factors. We believe our protocol, which includes regular testing and other medical measures, allows us this opportunity and provides a protective environment for not just our student-athletes, but our coaches, staff, supporters and campus community.
We have been very deliberate in our approach since March. We’ve learned along the way and will continue to learn every day. Our safety protocols are strong. When the time is right, the Colonels will be ready to play!
I want to thank our student-athletes, coaches and fans for their support and patience.
Go Big E!”