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Mount Union football sacked as OAC postpones all 2020 fall sports

The conference is weighing options of moving the fall competitions to next spring.
football
(File photo)

AUSTINTOWN — As Ohioans await guidance from Gov. Mike DeWine on schools reopening and high school sports resuming, colleges and universities continue to move on.

Friday, the President's Council of the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) postponed all NCAA intercollegiate athletics competition through Dec. 31, due to continued concerns about COVID-19.

Among the schools affected are the University of Mount Union and Baldwin-Wallace College, two of the strongest teams in Division III college football. Division III athletes do not receive athletic scholarships.

The OAC, in a news release, said it is committed to moving NCAA intercollegiate competition to the spring, with various models being discussed.

While competition will not occur this fall, the OAC is planning a robust engagement of student-athletes during the fall semester with conditioning and preparation for competition according to CDC guidelines and NCAA criteria in conjunction with local health guidelines.

“The OAC believes we can continue to provide an excellent experience for our student-athletes,” said Tim Gleason, OAC Commissioner, “while continuing to make the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff, families, fans and campus communities our highest priority.”

The fall sports that have intercollegiate competition postponed are cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis and volleyball. 

The winter-season sports of basketball, indoor track and field, swimming and diving, and wrestling will not begin before January.

The OAC's other schools are Marietta, John Carroll, Capital, Heidelberg, Wilmington, Ohio Northern, Otterbein and Muskingum.

Earlier this month, the Big Ten Conference which includes Ohio State University canceled all non-conference competition for its schools and the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Board of Directors voted to suspend all mandated conference athletic events and championships through the fall semester in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Slippery Rock University is one of the 18 colleges in the conference.

On Monday, the Missouri Valley Football Conference, which includes Youngstown State University, is expected to make an announcement about fall competition. YSU's football season is scheduled to begin on Sept. 5 at Akron.

The Horizon League, which includes all other YSU fall sports, already has canceled non-conference competition. 

DeWine said he plans to make a decision about schools reopening soon. On Aug. 1, high school sports are permitted by the Ohio High School Athletic Association to begin practices.




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