We’re still awaiting the fate of college football this fall — which will be decided by the conferences — but today, the NCAA granted some relief for other fall sports.
This afternoon, the Division I Council Coordination Committee approved a blanket waiver that will allow men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, men’s water polo and women’s volleyball teams to only play 50% of their minimum required contests. This will give teams the ability to avoid scheduling games that will put players, coaches, and staff at risk with additional travel and exposure to the coronavirus. The committee also agreed to get rid of the requirement that teams must have at least a .500 record to be considered for at-large selections into a championship field.
On Friday, NCAA President Mark Emmert said the organization is putting off a decision about fall championships until August.
“Today the Board of Governors and I agreed that we must continue to thoughtfully and aggressively monitor health conditions around the country and the implementation of the COVID-19 guidelines we issued last week. The health and well-being of college athletes is the highest priority in deciding whether to proceed with our 22 NCAA championships beginning in late November. We all remain deeply concerned about the infection trend lines we see. It is clear that the format of our championships will have to change if they are to be conducted in a safe and fair manner. We discussed other complexities in addition to the health and safety impacts, to include team availability, travel limitations and various local and state restrictions. We will continue our discussions in August.”
Meanwhile, the SEC is expected to release its plans for the 2020 football season either this week or next.