Grinnell, Iowa — The Midwest Conference (MWC) Presidents Council announced today that it would not sponsor league competition, including championships, for fall and winter sports during the 2020-2021 academic year. The decision was unanimous and covers 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 & field, and volleyball.
Conference Schools: Beloit, Cornell, Grinnell, Illinois College, Knox, Lake Forest, Lawrence, Monmouth, Ripon, St. Norbert
“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,” said Zach Messitte, Ripon College president and chair of the MWC Presidents’ Council. “We are hopeful that individual teams will continue to practice and, if appropriate, perhaps compete in some limited capacity in the months ahead.”
Over the past several months, the Conference has closely monitored the evolving COVID-19 situation, as well as its impact on member campuses, local communities and the Midwest region with the hope of resuming safe competition for its student-athletes. The recent surge in positive cases, both regionally and nationally, the resulting impact on academic calendars, and the continued uncertainty surrounding the pandemic are all factors in the decision not to play a winter athletic schedule.
The Midwest Conference continues to work diligently toward a spring season for baseball, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s outdoor track & field. The Conference’s COVID-19 Working Group has developed return-to-play guidance that aligns with the most current NCAA Sport Science Institute’s Resocialization and Acclimatization recommendations, including elements such as testing, positive COVID-19 case response and environmental adjustments to reduce the risk of transmission.
Training, skill development and/or strength & conditioning sessions may continue for fall and winter sport athletes at the discretion of each institution. Similarly, the Council endorsed the concept of institutional autonomy with regard to scrimmages and/or competition.
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