Colleges in the Midwest Conference are suspending not only competition for fall sports programs because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but will delay the start of winter sports season for its teams until January 1.
Presidents of the 10-member league which includes Knox and Monmouth colleges in Illinois and Cornell College in Iowa announced the decision Monday in coordination with athletic directors.
Midwest Conference leaders cited a desire to "protect the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches, staff and administration, their families and broader campus and local communities'' in choosing to suspend fall and winter sports.
"We did everything we could over the past couple of months to develop schedules, event management protocols and testing policies so that we could compete this fall,'' MWC executive director Heather Benning said.
"However, due to the recent sustained surge of cases across the country and a lack of guaranteed access to timely and reliable testing with the frequency recommended by the NCAA, the conference does not feel it is in a position to sponsor intercollegiate athletic competition at this time.''
Athletes competing for Midwest Conference teams will be given practice, small-group training, skill development and strength and conditioning opportunities.
Midwest Conference leaders had previously announced the elimination of nonconference competition for the fall sports season.
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