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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Mid-South Conference Commissioner Eric Ward announced today the postponement of fall sports to spring 2021 due to concerns surrounding COVID-19. The decision comes …
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Mid-South Conference Commissioner Eric Ward announced today the postponement of fall sports to spring 2021 due to concerns surrounding COVID-19. The decision comes following last week’s administrative council meetings and subsequent approval by the MSC Council of Presidents.
Bethel Associate Athletic Director Brad Chappell addressed the announcement. “I was involved in meetings daily last week with our conference athletic directors and sport chairs from each sport. Throughout those discussions the theme was, ‘What gives our athletes the best chance to participate safely and without too much interruption?’ The general consensus was the plan that the MSC released this morning.
“We all want to play sports like normal but we also are forced to consider the well-being of all involved. In that regard I am confident that we have a plan in place that will give us the best opportunity to compete safely. That does not mean that there will not be sports this fall. We still hope to do some things this fall as circumstances allow and that will be discussed and developed in the coming weeks. Ultimately this decision was in the best interest of the conference and member schools and has the support of the commissioner, the institution presidents, the AD’s and the coaches.”
The sports impacted by the decision are men and women’s cross country, men and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball. The regular-season conference schedule is slated to precede the championships in the spring.
Conference regular season and tournament dates will be announced following the NAIA’s release of national championships dates.
While the conference schedule is adjusted, institutions are given the autonomy to play non-conference games this fall.
In football, each of the three divisions will independently determine conference play. With the football footprint spanning over seven states, each division’s administrative council was given the authority to make the decision on fall play based on state and federal regulations within its geographical area. An announcement on the football schedule will come later this week once all three divisions’ leaderships have met.
Bethel Football Coach Michael Jasper commented, “As fired up as I was to get back to the game, I am in full support of us putting the health and safety of our student athletes first. The time and ability to learn how to navigate during these times is so important, and I thank Eric Ward, the presidents, athletic directors, and great coaches of the Bluegrass division for fully understanding this. As I have told my guy’s a ton of times already, it doesn’t matter when or where, we have to be ready to go.”