ST. GEORGE — After announcing the postponement of their football season, the Western Athletic Conference has now suspended all fall championship and nonchampionship athletics competitions through the end of the calendar year.
The announcement about the Dixie State University football season came out Wednesday, and while this new announcement does not rule out the possibility of those fall sports being played in the spring, it would definitely lead to a hectic spring semester for the Trailblazers with all sports competing.
“It obviously was a difficult decision, and not one made lightly,” WAC Commissioner Jeff Hurd said in a press release. “But it was one made after extensive discussion and consideration of all relevant factors as well as input from conference administrators and the Medical Advisory Committee. The health and safety of our student-athletes, the many others associated with our athletics programs and all those in our campus environments always will be the highest priority.”
The sports impacted by this decision are volleyball and men’s and women’s cross country and soccer. The release also mentioned that if the NCAA fall championships are moved to the spring, the fall sports will compete.
After the postponement of fall sports by the WAC, Dixie State was set to open their women’s soccer and volleyball seasons on Sept. 18, with volleyball taking on Southern Utah and the women’s soccer team playing Weber State. The men’s soccer team would have traveled to Spokane, Washington, where they were going to play Gonzaga on Sept. 25.
All of these games as well as their remaining schedules will be canceled.
After being selected to play in the NCAA Division II national tournament last season with an at-large bid, the Dixie State women’s soccer team made a run into the elite eight as the No. 5 seed out of the South Central Region. This was the first time the women’s soccer program made the national tournament since the 2009 season.
“The Board recognizes the disappointment felt by our student-athletes, coaches, and fans, but it believes the decision is in the best interest of all concerned,” Stephen Sundborg, S.J., WAC Board Chair and president of Seattle University, said in the press release.
This decision also impacts other WAC sports with the start date for the nonchampionship competition beginning not earlier than Jan. 1. A decision on winter sports has yet to be made, but competition will be postponed through the end of October.
While the fall season may have been suspended and other sports will be impacted, conditioning, strength training and practices will be left to the discretion of member institutions.
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