A month ago, the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced that there would be no football this fall because of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Monday, the MIAC took things a step further and announced it is postponing all sports competitions until January 2021, meaning the conference’s basketball and hockey seasons will not start on time.

The latest move impacts the fall sports of golf and tennis, which now join football, volleyball, cross-country and soccer with seasons in the spring. The winter sports of basketball, hockey, indoor track and field and swimming and diving will have their seasons delayed until January.

The MIAC decision follows the Aug. 20 recommendation of the NCAA Division III Administrative Committee that member schools not compete until January. Also affecting the decision were guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health and NCAA resocialization requirements.

MIAC teams will be allowed to practice and train throughout the academic year in accordance with NCAA and campus protocols. MIAC winter sports coaches have started work on compressed schedules with the January start.

Along with decision on competition, the MIAC approved legislation for a five-year eligibility relief package to match NCAA eligibility bylaws and accept all NCAA blanket waivers for those impacted by COVID-19. The legislation is effective immediately and will be in place through the 2024-25 academic year.

Randy Johnson