OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - The Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) Presidents Council has voted to delay the start of the fall sports season.
They say the decision was made based on guidance from the league’s athletic directors and an extensive review of the recommended testing and safety measures developed by the NCAA Sport Science Institute.
Officials say fall sports competition will begin no earlier than September 24 while practices will now begin on August 28.
The decision doesn’t impact the planned academic calendar for Kentucky Wesleyan and classes will still begin on August 17, according to school officials.
“We are committed to doing everything possible to ensure that all of our student-athletes have the opportunity for meaningful playing seasons this academic year,” said Director of Athletics Rob Mallory. “The decision to delay the start of the fall season provides us the best opportunity to do that at this time, while allowing our student-athletes the chance to get back to campus safely, be integrated back into the campus community, and begin the academic year on solid ground.”
Policies for workouts upon arrival to campus as well as updated fall schedules are being developed at this time and will be announced in the near future.
Officials say the G-MAC will play a conference-only schedule in men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball and football. Additionally, starting dates and policies for non-championship segments (e.g. golf and tennis) have yet to be determined.
“We will continue to monitor the impact of the pandemic and make any further decisions necessary to ensure a safe return to the playing field for our student-athletes,” noted Mallory. “We can’t wait to see the Panthers back on campus in a few short weeks. While we know that this year will be very different than we are accustomed to, we can still make it a memorable one.”
G-MAC Championships for the fall season are scheduled on originally planned dates with cross country on October 24; men’s and women’s soccer on November 7, 12-13; and volleyball slated for November 17, 20-21.
The G-MAC becomes the 12th of the 23 NCAA Division II conferences to delay fall competition. The remaining 11 conferences have postponed most fall competition until January 2021. The NCAA has yet to determine the final status of its fall national championships