Fall sports at Wayne State, Grand Valley & more suspended until January 2021

Posted at 11:10 AM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 22:40:32-04

(WXYZ) — The Great Lake Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced Wednesday it is suspending all fall sports, becoming the latest college organization to cancel sports amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The GLIAC features several Michigan schools, including Wayne State, Saginaw Valley, Grand Valley, Davenport, Ferris State, Lake Superior State, Michigan Tech, Northern Michigan and Northwood University.

“Our council of presidents and GLIAC athletic directors weighed this decision from every angle, hoping to find a feasible option for student-athletes to compete this fall, but in the end, the potential risks to student-athletes, coaches, support staff and fans made fall competition impossible,” said Dr. Richard Pappas of Davenport University, who is the GLIAC Council of Presidents and Chancellors chair for 2020-21. “Plans to provide fall teams with competition opportunities during the spring semester are a priority for the league. We look forward to getting our student-athletes back on campus so they can resume training, and our members remain devoted to providing a quality student-athlete experience despite these challenging circumstances.”

GLIAC student-athletes will have opportunities to practice and take part in athletic training programs in adherence to NCAA, institutional, local and state guidelines.

“The decision to suspend all sports competition this fall was extremely difficult," GLIAC Commissioner Kris Dunbar said. "After thoroughly reviewing federal, state, and NCAA SSI (Sport Science Institute) and Board of Governor's guidelines, it became apparent that conducting contests and championships this fall was insurmountable. My frustration and sadness for the coaches, student-athletes, families and fans is unmitigated. The league will continue to work on protocols for a safe return for our athletic programs, with the health and safety of our student-athletes and staff taking the highest priority.”

It comes just one day after the Big Ten and Pac 12 announced they were canceling all fall sports.