As time keeps passing, more and more sports have felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent weeks, college sports fans have had to face the likelihood of their favorite fall sports either being postponed or completely cancelled this year. While some conferences are still planning to have fall competitions, on Thursday (August 13), NCAA president Mark Emmert announced that there will be no championships for any fall sports. The cancellation is yet another side effect of the Coronavirus pandemic. In his announcement, Emmert explained that “if you don’t have half of the schools playing a sport, you can’t have a legitimate championship.” (Source: ESPN) With this rule in place, the decision became unavoidable on Wednesday (August 12) when the Big East conference decided to pull the plug and cancel its fall competitions, effectively dropping the NCAA participation rate below the required 50%.
In total, the cancellation will be impacting twenty-two championships. For Division I athletes, there is still some hope for a rescheduled season in either the winter or spring of this school year. However, Division II and III athletes, coaches, and fans are not as lucky as all D-II and D-III fall sports have been permanently cancelled with no chance of a rescheduled season. In the mean time, many D-I programs that have yet to be cancelled are scrambling to figure out what a season with no championship means. Some coaches have voiced that they are excited their athletes still get the chance to play, while others have voiced their concerns. One prominent coach that has voiced his concerns is head coach of the dominant University of North Carolina women’s soccer program, Anson Dorrance. Dorrance stated that “All the elite teams have players that can sign pro contracts right now, so it would be extraordinarily selfish for any of us to ask a player to stay [without a championship to play for].” (Source: ESPN)
In a word, the 2020-2021 fall sports season has been chaotic. (To say the least.) Hopefully, the athletes, coaches, and fans are able to make the most of what little competition they receive this fall.