NCAA announces cancellation of Division 2, Division 3 fall sports championships

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Area universities Northwest Missouri State, Missouri Western, and Truman State received difficult news from the NCAA on Thursday afternoon, with the announcement that the Presidents Councils from the Board of Governors canceling fall sports championships for D-2 and D-3, adding they will not be made up in the spring.  According to the board’s decision, at least 50% of teams competing in a fall sports in any division must conduct a regular-season this fall for a championship to be held.

Northwest Missouri State University, in Maryville, and rival Missouri Western State University, in St. Joseph, compete in the MIAA.  Truman State University, in Kirksville, moved from the MIAA a number of years ago to join the Great Lakes Conference, which includes William Jewell (Liberty) and Missouri S&T in Rolla.

While the NCAA dropped the proverbial hammer on postseason play for D-2 and D-3, their power to make any such decisions over big-money Division 1 football is much less, as the Power Five Conferences (Big 10, Pac-12, ACC, SEC, and Big 12) have put in place plans to play conference-only schedules in 2020, hoping to play a season that would be worth billions of dollars in revenue to those schools.  At that level, the NCAA’s main role has been to provide guidelines as to how to lessen the risks of playing to the era of COVID-19.  

The NCAA cannot stop regular-season competition.  When the board considered pulling the plug on fall championships last month, conference leaders throughout all of Division 1 pushed back, with some level of discussion from those leaders about scheduling their own championship events, without the assistance of the NCAA.