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MIAC pushes several fall sports to spring due to COVID-19 concerns

Among the sports being seasonally relocated are football, soccer, volleyball and cross country.
Credit: KARE 11

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) is pushing some of its highest-profile sports from fall of 2020 to spring of 2021, citing ongoing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Among the sports being seasonally relocated are football, soccer, volleyball and cross country. The conference is working to develop spring schedules for those sports, which have been deemed medium- or high-risk for coronavirus transmission by the NCAA.

Sports categorized as low-risk, like both men's and women's golf and tennis, will go on this fall against conference opponents only. 

"Our number one priority is the health and safety of students and staff," said Paul Pribbenow, Chair of the MIAC Presidents' Council and Augsburg University President. "The decision to postpone competition for many of our fall sports was very difficult, as we know how much our student-athletes want to compete and how important athletics are to each of our campuses, but we need to put ourselves in a position to return to play as safely as possible."

Training, practice, and other athletically-related activities for all teams will be permitted in accordance with NCAA Division III rules and campus, state, and NCAA health directives.

The MIAC has spent several months preparing a return to athletics plan, with guidance from both the Minnesota Department of Health and the NCAA, to outline what needs to be in place for the conference to best protect the health and well-being of students, staff, and the campus community. 

MIAC officials have created a COVID-19 resources page that includes the latest updates and policies concerning the virus, plus a frequently asked questions page that deals specifically with the decision to push selected fall sports to spring.