The NCAA announced last week that fall championships for each sport will be canceled if more than 50% of the playoff-eligible teams in each sport cancel their seasons. NCAA president Mark Emmert made it official on Thursday by announcing "we cannot, at this point, have fall championships."
The Southland and Southern Conference announced on Thursday that it will not have conference play this year, leaving just the Ohio Valley Conference as the only FCS conference yet to make a formal announcement on the future of its season.
"We can't in any Division I NCAA sport have a championship, other than FBS football," Emmert said.
"We cannot, at this point, have fall NCAA championships."— Inside the NCAA (@InsidetheNCAA) August 13, 2020
NCAA President Mark Emmert discusses the latest developments in fall sports and looks ahead to winter and spring championships.
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The Southland and Southern join the Ivy League, MEAC, Patriot League, CAA, NEC, Pioneer Football League, Big Sky, Big South, the SWAC, and the Missouri Valley Football Conference as leagues that won't play conference games this fall. However, Emmert believes that they can conduct fall championships in the spring.
"There are ways to do this. I'm confident we can figure this out. If schools and conferences want to move forward and try and have… more than half want to do it. Let's do it," Emmert said.
"We can use the fall to keep kids healthy, keep them in engaged with their coaches and athletic departments, focus on their academic success, work with them, let them practice and stay ready to play."
Concern over the health and well-being of players and coaches has altered the landscape of college athletics. The need to test for COVID-19 on a regular basis combined with spikes in cases around the country late last month and earlier this month have called into question the feasibility of holding sporting events.
Costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have also hit the college athletics world hard. It's unlikely that fans will be in the stands in 2020, which has cut out a massive revenue stream for athletic departments across the country.