RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Following a Friday evening meeting of the Great American Conference’s Council of Presidents, the league will suspend all fall and winter sports – basketball, cross country, football, soccer and volleyball – and the two-semester sports of golf and tennis through December 31.
The Council made its recommendation in response to last week’s directive from the NCAA Board of Governors regarding additional requirements as well the cancellation of 2020 NCAA Division II Fall Championships.
“We are disappointed for our student-athletes, coaches, and communities,” GAC Commissioner Will Prewitt said. “Our membership’s presidents and athletic administrators did not arrive at this difficult decision lightly. Our hopes and work to date have been to proceed with fall competition following federal and state health guidance. However, recent decisions by the NCAA Board of Governors make this possibility unrealistic. We now turn our focus as a conference on how to best support our student-athletes during this challenging time and craft options that will allow them to experience meaningful and safe competition during spring 2021.”
All NCAA athletically related activities (in all GAC sports), including in-season practices, out-of-season practices, weight training, team athletically related meetings, and voluntary workouts led by staff or in institutional facilities shall be permitted this fall based on each institution’s ability to comply with the recent NCAA Board of Governors directive.
“The suspension of our fall and winter sports through December 31 is a heartbreak for all of us,” said Harding President and GAC Council of Presidents Chairman Dr. Bruce McLarty. “Our athletes and college athletics are important to every GAC campus. The presidents are continuing our work to ensure that our student-athletes have a great college experience this year, in spite of the challenges we are facing.”
The GAC will continue to evaluate NCAA, federal, state, and local developments and will provide updated revisions as further information becomes available. The league will announce revised schedules at a later date.