The Sun Conference Cancels All Spring Sports Seasons

The Sun Conference Cancels All Spring Sports Seasons

TAMPA, Fla.— In conjunction with today's announcement from the NAIA, The Sun Conference has cancelled all of its spring sports activities. 
 
Following a meeting of the NAIA Council of Presidents Executive Committee, the NAIA announced on Monday morning that the national organization is cancelling all spring sports championships for the 2019-20 academic year in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. 
 
"After convening the Council of Presidents Executive Committee this morning, and with input from the National Administrative Council and National Eligibility Committee, the decision has been made to cancel the spring 2020 sports season, effective immediately," said NAIA President and CEO Jim Carr. "We know this is extremely disappointing, especially for our student-athletes. All possible options for maintaining the spring season were discussed at great length by multiple governance groups. However, the growing state of emergency due to COVID-19, as well as the Center for Disease Control's recommendation yesterday to limit gatherings to fewer than 50 people for eight weeks, meant we could not in good conscience move forward, possibly putting student-athletes, staff, and fans at risk."
 
The Sun Conference Council of Presidents affirmed the NAIA's decision and voted to cancel all spring sport seasons, effective immediately. 
 
"We realize this decision will be disappointing to many and particularly our athletes, but we have always maintained that the health and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, fans, and media will always be the highest priority in The Sun Conference," said conference Commissioner Dustin Wilke. "We have followed the lead of the NAIA and are committed to taking every step necessary to preserve the health and well-being of everyone as our communities face this challenging health crisis."
 
In addition to ending all spring sports for the year, the NAIA also clarified some eligibility issues for student-athletes who now are missing a season of competition.
 
"In an effort to provide relief, no spring sport student-athlete will be charged a season of competition," said Carr. "Any spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled full-time in 2020 will be awarded two additional semester terms of attendance or the equivalent.
 
"We know there are outstanding questions regarding relief for winter sport student-athletes, implications on transfer regulations, and impacts to academic eligibility rules," continued Carr. "We are working closely with the appropriate governance groups to determine answers and will continue to share information with membership as it becomes available."