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WIAC, UW–Platteville cancel fall sports season

MADISON—  The dominoes of college athletics continue to fall.

Monday evening, hours after the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin and the Northern Athletic Collegiate Conference pulled the plug on their fall sports, the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference followed suit.

The WIAC became the latest college conference with teams in Wisconsin to fall victim to COVID-19, annoucning the cancellation of competition and championships for fall season sports due to the ongoing developments related to the pandemic. 

In conjunction with the WIAC announcement, UW–Platteville announced it will not compete in conference or non-conference competitions for the 2020 fall season.  

The announcement impacts seven UW–Platteville athletic programs (men’s and women’s cross country, football, women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball). 

Conference seasons and championships in football, women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, and men’s and women’s cross country are to be canceled for the 2020–21 academic year.  

All competition in women’s golf will be suspended for the 2020–21 fall term. The WIAC season and championship in women’s golf will be moved to the 2020–21 spring term as the sport is traditionally split between fall and spring with the WIAC championship previously held in the fall portion of the season. 

Each WIAC institution will retain the autonomy to establish practice opportunities within the limitations stipulated by the NCAA during the academic year. 

UW–Platteville said it is committed to providing meaningful opportunities for the student–athletes and programs and is developing plans following the announcement of the cancellation of fall season sports.

Winter and spring season sports are not part of Monday’s announcement.  

Determinations with regards to the winter sports season, including the start date and the manner in which competition will be conducted, will be determined at a later date. 

The WIAC and member institutions continue to develop plans for the upcoming academic year as the pandemic progressively evolves. 

Earlier Monday, the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin announced it was postponing fall conference competitions after a unanimous vote from its Council of Presidents. 

Carroll University and Carthage College represent Wisconsin in the CCIW.

“The highest priority at each institution is the health and wellbeing of our student–athletes, coaches, administrators and campus communities and intercollegiate athletics continues to pose a significant increased risk,” the CCIW’s statement read.

“Although the DIII Management Council has recommended to the NCAA Board of Governors that they cancel all DIII Fall Championships, the CCIW COP has charged the conference staff with exploring competition opportunities for cross country, football, soccer and volleyball in the spring, while maintaining conference competition for all spring sports including golf and tennis.”

Also on Monday, the 12-team Northern Athletic Collegiate Conference, home to Edgewood College, Lakeland, MSOE, Concordia–Wisconsin, Marian and Wisconsin Lutheran, announced it was postponing all conference regular-season games and championships through Dec. 31 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Student–athletes were notified of the decision Friday before it was made public.  

The 10-team Midwest Conference, home to St. Norbert, Lawrence, Ripon and Beloit College suspended all sports through Dec. 31 also on Monday.