WCC Postponing Fall Sports, Remains Committed To Conduct Basketball Season
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – BYU’s conference home the West Coast Conference (WCC), is joining many other leagues in postponing fall sports amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This announcement does not impact BYU’s football program which competes as an FBS Independent.
The postponement became official on Thursday and it impacts BYU’s women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, and men’s and women’s cross country. Originally, postponed to September 24th, the WCC Presidents’ Council in consultation with the Conference’s 10 athletic directors and WCC Commissioner Gloria Nevarez, ultimately decided to postpone the entire season.
“Since returning to campus on June 1, our student-athletes, coaches and support staff have been working diligently to prepare for the fall sports seasons. We were hopeful, with carefully defined protocols, that we could compete in the fall sports,” said BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe in a statement. “Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic challenges faced by many of the West Coast Conference schools, particularly the schools in California that haven’t returned their student-athletes to campus, were too challenging to overcome. At this point in time, we are deeply saddened for our student-athletes and coaches in women’s volleyball, women’s soccer and men’s and women’s cross country, whose seasons have been postponed until spring. We are also saddened for our loyal BYU fans across the country who love to watch the Cougars play; whether live in Provo, on the road, or on BYUtv. Our student-athletes will miss the fans as much as they miss them. Our main focus going forward is to help our student-athletes manage the unique challenges they are facing and prepare for the opportunity when they can return to competition. We will be back—whenever it’s possible—ready to represent our beloved Brigham Young University.”
In a press release, the WCC stated that they intend to explore various models for conducting WCC competition in the fall sports during the spring of 2021.
All of the programs impacted by this decision at BYU have experienced national success in recent years. Last year, BYU men’s cross country won the National Championship and had their eyes set on defending that title. Jen Rockwood’s soccer program was undefeated throughout the entire year until an Elite 8 loss at Stanford.
BYU women’s volleyball has been a consistent NCAA Tournament team and in the conversation to contend for National Championships.
Status of WCC Basketball
There is still hope that the WCC will conduct men’s and women’s basketball in the winter. In its press release, the league wrote, “The WCC remains fully committed and continues to work closely with campus leadership on plans to ensure a safe environment to conduct the 2020-21 WCC men’s and women’s basketball season in the winter.”
This becomes a big talking point as the nearby Pac-12 Conference postponed all competitions in its league to January 1st, which impacts non-conference basketball games in that league.
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.
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