COVID-19 Concerns Push Back College Sports Kickoff

Jul 27, 2020

Concerns over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are leading college sports associations to delay or cancel the start of their fall 2020 sports seasons.

The Missouri Valley Conference's Presidents Council pushed back the start of fall sports to Sept. 18. The conference includes 10 Midwestern schools, including Bradley University, Illinois State University, and Southern Illinois University.

The league will also only sponsor conference-only competition for men and women's soccer and volleyball. Bradley has a men's soccer team and women's volleyball team.

The decision does not affect football at ISU or SIU, as that sport is governed by the separate Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC). In a statement, the MVFC said its Presidents Council "has determined patience is warranted" regarding a decision on the 2020 season. The league said it will monitor national developments and wait on making a decision as long as providing safe competition remains a possibility.

The Valley's decision also delays the start of fall competitive schedules for golf, cross country, and women's tennis, as well as the championship fall seasons for baseball and softball.

Practice kickoff for the sports is delayed until Aug. 18.

Winter and spring sports aren't impacted at this time in the Missouri Valley Conference, but the Presidents Council left the door open to adjustments if circumstances warrant it. 

The Midwest Conference took things a step further, suspending all college sports through the end of 2020. That conference includes Knox College in Galesburg and Monmouth College.

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