The Northern Sun conference canceled all fall sports due to COVID-19 |
Mel Stramm ® Sports Editor |
If you were hoping to watch Maverick Football crush another team with an 81-0 score this year, we’re sorry to disappoint you: There will be no Maverick fall sports for the remainder of 2020. No football, no soccer. No cross country, no golf, and no volleyball.
On Aug. 5, the NCAA canceled all fall Division II championships for fall 2020, leaving it up to each league whether or not to hold conference games. It wasn’t long until the NSIC followed suit, suspending all competition until January 2021.
Since regulations need to be adjusted as the COVID-19 situation develops, no definite decisions have been made about crossover winter and spring sports yet.
The NSIC’s official statement said, “The membership is committed to exploring meaningful opportunities and experiences for fall student-athletes in the spring, if it can be done reasonably and safely.”
This still leaves a lot of room for uncertainty. As of right now, most sports will continue to practice but it will be a while before fans get to see Maverick sports in action.
The main focus for athletic departments now will be winter sports like basketball, wrestling, track and field and hockey.
With hockey not being a part of the NSIC it is up to the WCHA to make the final decision about the season. This will hold a lot of weight, since teams were unable to actually finish the 2019-2020 season
In addition to handling the impact of COVID-19, MSU’s men’s hockey program is currently going through the switch from the WCHA to the CCHA; 2020-2021 was supposed to be its last season in the WCHA.
After this season the WCHA will lose eight of its 10 members, which might motivate the association to push for the season to take place.
Even though hockey is one of the most high-contact sports, putting players at higher risk for exposure, WCHA commissioner Bill Robertson says he believes hockey will happen this year.
“I still am a believer that we’re going to be playing hockey this year”, said Robertson.
Nevertheless, we can expect the hockey season to be delayed. Originally the season was planned to begin Oct. 3, but in light of most conferences postponing the beginning of their seasons, we might have to wait quite a bit longer than that.
“I’d say we are trending towards more of a December/January start date that would be with heavy consideration of playing conference-only games,” Robertson said.
A decision on the season by the WCHA will probably be made within the upcoming month.
Header photo: Minnesota State quarterback JD Ekowa (7) during a game against the University Minnesota Duluth at Blakeslee Stadium Oct. 5, 2019 in Mankato, Minn. (File photo)