MAC ON SPORTS: MILLIKIN OFFICIALS RESPOND TO CCIW CANCELLATION OF FALL SPORTS

J. Thomas McNamara

    Millikin President Dr. Jim Reynolds and Athletics Director Dr. Craig White released these statements Monday after the College Conference of Illinois-Wisconsin Council of Presidents announced cancellation of all fall sports.

        “While I wish we could provide a return to competition for all of our student athletes, the responsible choice and the unanimous recommendation from all of the CCIW Presidents is that we postpone our fall sports until the spring semester,” said Millikin President Dr. Jim Reynolds. “This was a difficult decision but in the interests of public health and safety, a necessary one.”

     AD White said, “While this is not the decision we had hoped for heading into the fall season, it reflects the most recent guidance from the NCAA, public health agencies and campus and community leaders from across the conference.
          “The health and safety of our student-athletes is our number one priority,”  Dr. White adds. “We continue to explore all options that will allow athletes to safely experience being part of a Big Blue team while continuing to get better, stronger and faster for future competition.”
  The College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) Council of Presidents announced mid-morning Monday (July 27) that it was suspending all fall sports athletic competition and championships for the 2020-21 academic year. The conference office will explore CCIW competition and championships in the spring.
        The CCIW will not sponsor conference competition or championships this fall in football, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country, women’s tennis, and women’s golf this fall. Millikin will suspend competition in all fall conference sports and in men’s golf and men’s tennis.  While men’s golf and men’s tennis hold competitions in the fall, their conference competition and championships are traditionally in the spring. What the season will look like for the Big Blue’s women’s triathlon team is still being evaluated. Women’s triathlon is an NCAA Emerging Sport and is not sponsored by the CCIW.
        Millikin athletes will not report to campus early for the start of practice this fall. Student-athletes will follow the University’s return to campus guidelines that will be distributed in early August.
     I will have more on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.  This decision was not totally unexpected since the NCAA Board of Governors is considering suspension of all fall sports, but is getting considerable pushback from such a decision from the Power Five Conferences–Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12, SEC and ACC.

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