Two Division II conferences have now decided to not play football in the Spring of 2021.
Within just a few days of each other, the Great Northeast Athletic Conference and the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association both announced the cancelation of their Spring 2021 seasons.
The CIAA has cancelled all games for the Spring 2021 season but plans to allow intersquad scrimmages and practices. Last Thursday the league chancellors and presidents were supposed to meet to determine how many games would be played...that numbered ended up being 0.
The conference determined the threat of COVID-19 was too high to have the previously proposed season in the spring.
On their website, the CIAA says, "The conference has opted to not sponsor championship seasons for football as well as men's and women's cross country during 2020-2021 athletic year while women's volleyball will proceed with a 2021 spring season".
The GNAC also wont play any football games until the fall of 2021. While the main concern for the CIAA was COVID related, the GNAC has reportedly made its decision based on concerns of playing 2 seasons (spring 2021 and fall 2021) so close together. The GNAC has member schools in Alaska and Canada which would complicate the travel and quarantining abilities of teams according to Dennis Francois, Athletic Director at Central Washington University.
The GNAC will still be having men's soccer, women's soccer and women's volleyball this spring.
What the GNAC will allow for its member schools to do, has yet to be determined although athletic directors from the conference have requested some level of autonomy in that decision. The Athletic Directors expressed a desire to make sure that approaching the fall 2021 season that their teams will be prepared after not having played in live games for an entire year.
Lack of resources and availability of testing were mentioned as factors into these decisions.
Tough decisions and tough news. Stay tuned to The Scoop for more.