ALLENDALE, Mich. — Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and Davenport are two of many midwest DII schools that will playing a conference-only schedule during the Fall 2020 sports season after the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Council of Presidents voted Friday on the new schedule.
The GLIAC will continue to evaluate the feasibility of league competition on a sport-by-sport basis.
This new schedule gives GLIAC members, including Ferris State, Northwood and Ashland, additional time to get student-athletes back on campuses and through COVID-19 monitoring protocols, as well as the necessary time to conduct pre-season training in football, volleyball, soccer, cross country, and women's tennis.
Collegiate athletics has been on hold since the NCAA halted all competitions in March.
"At this time we felt like moving to a conference only schedule would allow each of our GLIAC member institutions the opportunity to take more time and evaluate the health and safety concerns of our student-athletes, coaches and athletics personnel," said GVSU Director of Athletics Keri Becker. "We will continue to gather information on the best and most practical protocols that need to be administered on a sport-by-sport basis and that is an ongoing process."
The GLIAC is striving toward consistency in COVID-19 testing, safe training, travel, hosting and in-game protocols among its 12 members.
"We recognize that student-athletes are anxious to return to campus and their teams," GLIAC Commissioner Kris Dunbar said. "Throughout the summer, school administrators have put guidelines in place to ensure that student-athletes are properly tested, monitored daily and training safely. I admire the work they have done to put the health and safety of the student-athletes, coaches and support personnel above all. At the same time, we're working toward returning to competition safely."
GLIAC Presidents plan to reconvene in early August to re-evaluate each school's ability to meet the recommendations put forth by the task force.