There will be fewer college sports played this fall. NCAA Division II and Division III made the decision to cancel fall sports championships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The cancellations will affect football, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's cross country, field hockey, women's volleyball and men's water polo.
"Looking at the health and safety challenges we face this fall during this unprecedented time, we had to make this tough decision to cancel championships for fall sports this academic year in the best interest of our student-athletes and member institutions," Tori Murden McClure, chair of the Division III President's Council and president at Spalding University said in a statement. The Division II Presidents also said the decision was made to protect the student-athletes.
"This decision was discussed very thoroughly, and I assure you it was not made lightly," said council chair Sandra Jordan, who is the chancellor of South Carolina Aiken. "It is important to note that fall student-athletes will be given eligibility-related flexibility to allow them championship opportunities in the future. The other divisions will have until Aug. 21 to decide if they want to have fall championships. Another way a division can call off championships is if 50% or more eligible teams choose to cancel the season.
With Division II and Division III call off fall championships, that leaves only Division I, as as of now, it's unlikely that happens. Football is a significant component for Division I as conferences in the FBS are deciding to play this fall. However, each Power Five conference (SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, PAC-12) have adjusted their schedules to play only teams in their conference, which has led to schools in the other FBS conference making tough decisions.
One example of this is the UConn. With the Huskies not being a member of any conference, they decided the cancel the 2020 season. "After receiving guidance from state and public health officials and consulting with football student-athletes, we've decided that we will not compete on the gridiron this season," UConn athletic director David Benedict said in a news release. "The safety challenges created by COVID-19 place our football student-athletes at an unacceptable level of risk." UConn is the first FBS school to cancel the football season. There is also the FCS, which features the Ivy League who withdrew all fall sports, including football, this year.