Midwest Conference Cancels Winter Sports Competitions; Spring Sports Still a Possibility
Schools in the Midwest Conference will not be playing sports for the winter season, after the MWC Presidents Council announced Thursday it “would not sponsor league competition, including championships, for fall and winter sports” during the 2020-21 academic year.
The unanimous decision impacts men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s swimming & diving, men’s and women’s indoor track and field and volleyball.
“While we are disappointed that our fall and winter student athletes won’t be able to compete in the traditional Midwest Conference schedule, the health and safety of our campuses remains the top priority of our institutions,” Zach Messitte, Ripon College President and chair of the MWC’s Presidents’ Council said in a statement. Messitte added that they’re hopeful that teams will continue to practice and “perhaps compete in some limited capacity in the months ahead”, if appropriate.
The Presidents’ Council said in a news release that they have continued to monitor the COVID-19 situation, and cited the “recent surge in positive cases, both regionally and nationally, the resulting impact on academic calendars, and the continued uncertainty surrounding the pandemic” as factors in the decision.
Despite the cancellation of fall and winter completion, the release indicates the Midwest Conference is working toward the possibility of holding spring sports competitions, and is developing return-to-play guidance to safely hold practice and competition.
Schools in the Midwest Conference compete in NCAA Division 3 athletics, and member schools in Wisconsin include Ripon College, St. Norbert College, Lawrence University and Beloit College .