CCIW Postpones Fall Sports due to COVID-19

Samira Kassem

The CCIW banner hanging in Shirk Athletic Center. Shirk is currently open to students and faculty for working out, but they must sign in and have their temperature taken in order to enter.

Photo courtesy of Samira Kassem.

The Collegiate Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin announced this summer that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all fall sports are postponed for their 2020 competition. 

In the conference committee’s official statement on the matter they said, “The decisions and announcements over the last several days surrounding the COVID-19 virus and its effect on college athletics have been difficult and heartbreaking for us all.” 

The decision by the conference came after a recommendation from the NCAA which advised all D3 conferences to postpone fall competition. 

Although the NCAA gave recommendations, they charged the specific conferences with making the final decisions for allowing play in cross country, football, soccer and volleyball in the spring which will accompany golf and tennis. 

It has not yet been decided by the CCIW whether winter sports will be able to compete on their expected start dates. 

The conference says that they are committed to allowing their members to continue in-person learning and they will allow teams to meet for practices and conditioning throughout the fall semester. 

In the case of IWU, in-person conditioning and practices for fall sports began this week without sanctions or consent from the CCIW.

The CCIW Student-Advisory committee also encourages student-athletes to participate in leadership and professional development programming on their respective campuses. 

On the NCAA level, the Board of Governors released their official guidelines for in-person practice which include cooperation with public health departments and CDC guidelines. 

The Board of Governors also agreed upon a no penalty or loss of eligibility for student-athletes who choose to opt-out of in-person conditioning or practices. 

Along with the information available on their website, the NCAA also has implemented a hotline for any students or parents who may have questions or concerns regarding collegiate sports during these turbulent times. 

In response to the announcements, students have mixed feelings, “It’s obviously disappointing that all the hard work put in during spring and summer months has been put on hold, but we have to take this time to keep improving.” 

“As soccer is a fall sport, we normally have to develop team chemistry fast but with the delay of the season we do gain the opportunity to gain that team chemistry.” 

It’s good in some ways but it is really disappointing to not get a season” junior soccer player Zack Kokes said. 

Teammate Brett Sprengel said, “Athletic Director Mike Wagner has been fighting for us relentlessly to give athletes a chance to practice which, given the times, is a nice silver lining.” 

Many IWU seniors are also disappointed specifically because these are their last seasons. 

“While it is difficult to have a fall that does not resemble the typical season, we are incredibly hopeful that we will be able to compete within the conference come spring,” senior soccer player Anna Eager said. 

“Even though our season is postponed, that does not decrease the level of effort we are putting into preparation for our potential seasons.” 

“We hope the administration continues to support and be advocates as the leaders that we look to and trust to work towards our best interests” Eager said.