Concordia University will not compete in conference fall sports after the American Southwest Conference Council of Presidents announced on Friday to delay conference-scheduled competition and championship events for fall sports.
Even as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the state, ASC officials anticipate resuming competition and tournaments in the spring. The delay includes the fall sports of cross-country, football, soccer and volleyball, which will now take place in spring. Concordia competes in all of those sports except for football.
The action to delay the ASC fall championship sports seasons does not preclude individual institutions from engaging in athletics-related activities, including non-conference competition, conducted in accordance with Division III legislation as well as institution, local, state and federal public health guidelines.
The decision by the presidents was made after evaluation of Division III legislative waivers, consideration of conference scheduling options for fall sports and reviews of current public health guidelines, according to a press release issued by Concordia.
Ronda Seagraves, the athletic director for Concordia, understands the disappointment of postponement but believes it is the best and safest decision for all parties.
"The decision to delay the start of the fall sport season gives each athlete, coach and campus the opportunity to engage their student-athletes with their coaches in similar ways as they would in normal circumstances," Seagraves said in the release. "The advantages to the model the NCAA and the ASC gives us now, allows much more focused training and skill work prior to competition. Our goal, even before the pandemic, was to offer our student-athletes a quality, competitive experience in the safest possible manner and this plan allows us to deliver on that promise."
The American Southwest Conference membership anticipates approval of NCAA Division III playing and practice season waivers allowing greater opportunity for students in all sports to have a broad athletics experience throughout the 2020-21 academic year. Under the waiver, each campus would have flexibility in conducting individual and team skill instruction, strength and conditioning, and practices along with the prospect for enhanced academic and personal development, and other athletically related activities as health and safety conditions allow.