All Division II college teams in the state of Michigan will not be playing this year, after their conference voted to suspend all sports competitions.
The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced Wednesday that the 12 schools decided the risk of COVID-19 exposure was too great for student-athletes to play games. All scheduled competitions in the rest of 2020 are suspended.
“The decision to suspend all sports competition this fall was extremely difficult," GLIAC Commissioner Kris Dunbar said. "After thoroughly reviewing federal, state, and NCAA SSI (Sport Science Institute) and Board of Governor's guidelines, it became apparent that conducting contests and championships this fall was insurmountable. My frustration and sadness for the coaches, student-athletes, families and fans is unmitigated. The league will continue to work on protocols for a safe return for our athletic programs, with the health and safety of our student-athletes and staff taking the highest priority.”
Teams will be allowed to hold workouts, practices and athletic training sessions.
The decision impacts 3 Universities in West Michigan: Grand Valley State University, Davenport University, and Ferris State University.
“Our council of presidents and GLIAC athletic directors weighed this decision from every angle, hoping to find a feasible option for student-athletes to compete this fall, but in the end, the potential risks to student-athletes, coaches, support staff and fans made fall competition impossible,” said Dr. Richard Pappas of Davenport University, who is the GLIAC Council of Presidents and Chancellors chair for 2020-21. “Plans to provide fall teams with competition opportunities during the spring semester are a priority for the league. We look forward to getting our student-athletes back on campus so they can resume training, and our members remain devoted to providing a quality student-athlete experience despite these challenging circumstances.”
Grand Valley State Athletic Director Keri Becker released a statement after the announcement:
"GVSU coaches and administration will shift our focus to preparing our student-athletes for a return to campus and ultimately a safe return to practicing the sports they love through implementation of NCAA guidelines and institutional safety measures. We will continue to develop talent and leadership through the context of sport by engaging them on the practice fields and beyond.We remain committed to provided the best student-athlete experience, by achieving student-athlete success academically, athletically, and socially. We will create championship excellence in all that we do to deliver this experience and we will not and cannot do this alone, so will engage our campus and community. In the end, this experience, though not want any of us planned will create champions for life and in life."