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Western Athletic Conference Votes To Suspend All Fall Sports Through End Of 2020

UVU's Sadie Brockbank (center) dribbles the ball up the field against Chicago State at Clyde Field. (Courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Western Athletic Conference announced that its Board of Directors voted to “suspend all fall championship and non-championship athletics competition” through the end of 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The WAC’s decision was announced on Thursday, August 13.

“It obviously was a difficult decision, and not one made lightly,” WAC commissioner Jeff Hurd said in a statement. “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.”

Impact on Utah Valley Wolverines Athletics

“Our student-athletes, coaches, and staff have been preparing to compete. While we are disappointed in this announcement, we understand the magnitude of the situation and the need for caution,” Utah Valley athletic director Jared Sumsion said about the league’s decision. “We trust in the guidance and leadership from the WAC’s medical advisory committee and the University Presidents. Our focus will continue to be on the academic success and the health and safety of our student-athletes as we look forward to competing as soon as possible.”

Fall sports championships in the conference that are impacted by this decision include:

  • Men’s and women’s cross country
  • Volleyball
  • Men’s and women’s soccer

The decision also affected the non-championship portion on the schedules of the following sports:

  • Men’s and women’s tennis
  • Men’s and women’s golf
  • Baseball
  • Softball

The soonest the conference will allow those sports to take place is January 1, 2021.

A decision on WAC basketball and swimming and diving competition has been postponed until October.

“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,” WAC Board Chair Fr. Stephen Sundborg, S.J. said in a statement.

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