The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced Monday that it will play a conference-only schedule for the fall 2020 sports season.
The GLIAC Council of Presidents voted on the decision Friday and will evaluate the feasibility of conference competition on a sport-by-sport basis.
“We recognize that student-athletes are anxious to return to campus and their teams,” GLIAC Commissioner Kris Dunbar said in a statement. “Throughout the summer, school administrators have put guidelines in place to ensure that student-athletes are properly tested, monitored daily and training safely. I admire the work they have done to put the health and safety of the student-athletes, coaches and support personnel above all. At the same time, we’re working toward returning to competition safely.”
Football, volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country and women’s tennis will all play conference-only schedules.
Ferris State Director of Athletics Perk Weisenburger issued the following statement:
“Last Friday, the GLIAC Council of Presidents approved a conference-only competition schedule for fall sports. This necessary decision allows us more time to carefully evaluate the likelihood of competition this fall on a sport-by-sport basis.
As traditional reporting dates for fall sports drew near, a degree of clarity and direction was needed so that our student-athletes, their families, our coaches, administrative staff and others could adjust and plan accordingly.
It is crucial that our campuses start the academic year with anticipation and hope for face-to-face learning and that our student-athletes can once again feel a part of a ‘team’ through physical development, team unity and mental well-being. This decision gives us time to begin the academic year while continuing to monitor, review and develop safe competition protocols that will help determine scheduling models for safe competitive sports. It is a time of great uncertainty for student-athletes and sports fans everywhere and while we realize how difficult this is for everyone involved we greatly appreciate and value the patience and understanding shown by our student-athletes as we journey down roads never traveled before.”
GLIAC presidents plan to meet again in early August to re-evaluate each member school’s ability to meet COVID-19 recommendations established by the conference’s task force.