The NCAA has canceled Division III fall sports due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports reported the news on Wednesday, August 5.
“NCAA D-III championships in fall sports are canceled. With the health and safety of the student-athletes, coaches, athletics administrators and communities as its priority, the Division III Presidents Council made the decision to cancel the championships due to the COVID-19,” Feldman wrote on Twitter.
Division I and Division II have yet to announce if they will move forward with the planned championships, but they will have to do so soon with a deadline looming.
“Our decisions place emphasis where it belongs — on the health and safety of college athletes,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement. “Student-athletes should never feel pressured into playing their sport if they do not believe it is safe to do so. These policies ensure they can make thoughtful, informed decisions about playing this fall.
“First and foremost, we need to make sure we provide a safe environment for college athletes to compete for an opportunity to play in NCAA championships. A decision based on the realities in each division will provide clarity for conferences and campuses as they determine how to safely begin the academic year and the return to sports.”
The deadline for a decision on all fall championships must be made no later than August 21.
The coronavirus outbreak has led to the cancellation or postponing of many large events including the NCAA Tournament, Coachella, SXSW, the Winter X Games, Stagecoach, Ultra Music Festival in Miami, and more. The NBA, NHL, and MLS temporarily suspended their seasons.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 4.85 million confirmed cases and 159,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.