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Missouri Valley Conference announces no fall competition
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COLLEGE SPORTS

Missouri Valley Conference announces no fall competition

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Northern Iowa volleyball. Photographed Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

CEDAR FALLS – Early Friday afternoon, the Missouri Valley Conference Presidents Council delivered heart-breaking news to its student-athletes.

The Conference announced that with the uncertainty around the ability to play full-season league schedules during the current COVID-19 pandemic it has decided to postpone conference play and championships in all MVC-sponsored fall sports.

This news came a week after the MVFC announced it was going to postpone football until the spring in hopes of being able to play an eight-game regular season and potentially a reduced playoffs.

At that time, UNI head football coach Mark Farley said,

“It is not easy to have your plans and everything you have done … the efforts of so many people — not get us to the start of football. That hurts. There are so many emotions tied to it.

“It was a hard day because it was a reality check. It had been rumored. It had been talked about, but I don’t think there was any belief this would last from March to August … and because of it that the season could be canceled.”

The MVC had earlier in August announced that it was delaying the start of fall season for men’s soccer, women’s soccer and volleyball until Sept. 18.

The Conference said it will continue to evaluate options for conducting MVC competition in fall sports and potentially participating in NCAA Championships during the spring of 2021.

“The health and safety of our student-athletes are first and foremost in our decision making and have been from the beginning of this pandemic,” University of Northern Iowa Director of Athletics David Harris said. “That doesn’t take away the heartbreak that we feel with the decision to push the season to the spring. We will shift our focus to the spring and encourage the NCAA to find a model for championships that provide opportunities for student-athletes from all conferences to be represented.”

Last week the NCAA Board of Governors decided to allow each division to determine whether a postseason would be held but stipulated that 50% of teams would need to participate in the regular-season to facilitate postseason in that sport. Nationally, the number of teams participating in all fall sports fell below the 50% standard, leading to the loss of the postseason this fall.

The MVC strongly supports moving fall championships to the spring. The schedule and timeline of the spring seasons have not been determined.

Plans for MVC-sponsored winter and spring sports (men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track & field; women’s swimming and diving; baseball; softball; women’s tennis; and men’s and women’s golf) are not impacted at this time.

During the fall months, the conference said student-athletes in all sports will be allowed to participate in athletically-related activities — practices, strength and conditioning sessions, team meetings — consistent with institutional policies, public health guidelines and NCAA and Conference regulations.

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Sports Reporter

I’m a Waterloo native who has covered Cedar Valley sports for more than 30 years for the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. I’m also a big Cincinnati Reds fan … Go Big Red Machine!

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