TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The NCAA Division III Presidents Council announced Wednesday afternoon that it would be canceling its fall sports championships due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The council released a statement saying that “moving sports to spring proved unworkable.”
“Looking at the health and safety challenges we face this fall during this unprecedented time, we had to make this tough decision to cancel championships for fall sports this academic year in the best interest of our student-athletes and member institutions.”Tori McClure, Chair of Presidents Council
McClure wrote that after looking at the financial and logistical ramifications of moving the fall sports to spring, it proved “untenable and financially prohibitive. She did write that the NCAA will look to “maximize the championships experience for winter and spring student-athletes… who were unfortunately shortchanged last academic year.”
In East Texas, this affects East Texas Baptist University in Marshall and LeTourneau University in Longview. Both are members of the American Southwest Conference.
LeTourneau Athletic Director Terri Deike said in a phone interview with KETK that ASC fall sports teams are planning to play a conference schedule in the spring. There is talk that schools could play 50% or less of the maximum number of games allowed by the NCAA.
This move would ensure that student-athletes do not lose a year of eligibility. The athletic directors for all members of the ASC will be meeting Thursday to formulate a schedule.
Deike also said that the fall sports would have a conference championship or tournament in the spring, but that would end the season.