NCAA Division I Fall Sports on the Verge of Being Paused


NCAA Division I Fall Sports on the Verge of Being Paused

Reports from several media outlets, including reporting by Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated, have indicated that NCAA Division I fall sports are about to be placed on the shelf due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Already, Division II and Division III sports have been halted for the fall, and it now seems like the highest level of athletics in college sports is going to follow suit.

Forde and Dellenger noted on Sunday night that meetings will be held among conference higher-ups this week, and it is unlikely that the fall seasons will go ahead. The hope is that fall sports will be played in the spring, provided that the COVID-19 situation is under better control than the current situation. On Saturday, the Mid-American Conference was the second Division I league to postpone fall sports, following the Ivy League.

The emphasis for the fall sports has been placed on football, not only because of its popularity, but due to its position as the fuel for other college sports. The revenue stream brought in by college football is massive, and the possibility of no season being played in the fall or spring would be a major blow to sports like swimming. Some universities have already cut swimming from their athletic programs, and other schools could line up similar moves for their non-revenue sports.

Although swimming is a winter sport in terms of when its championships are held, training takes place throughout the fall. Additionally, with the fall season about to be canceled at the Division I level, it is clear that a move forward and the resumption of college sports will not take place until COVID-19 is better neutralized or an option to fight it, i.e. a vaccine, is developed.

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