Denison, Other NCAC Schools Suspend Competition Through End of Year

The North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC), home to Division III powerhouses Denison and Kenyon, has announced that they will be suspending all intercollegiate competition until at least January 1, 2020. The decision comes as schools continue to deal with how to restart athletics, and academics, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

NCAC Executive Director Keri Alexander Luchowski said that:

“An athletics experience at all NCAC institutions is valuable to fulfilling our educational and developmental missions, and we recognize that this new decision is deeply disappointing to our student-athletes, coaches, and really, to every single one of us. We worked hard for months to create safe ways for students to compete this fall, knowing how much this means to our students and to our campuses, and that work was the foundation of the announcement we made on July 9th regarding conference competition. However, the health and safety of our campuses and communities must be our highest priority. Sadly, the continued increase in the pandemic in many areas means that we cannot safely proceed with the conference competition we had planned for.”

While the conference says that they will “continue to explore all options for a safe return to intercollegiate competition this spring,” it seems unlikely that any competition will be allowed by member schools this fall. The conference said that they will be, “committed to providing an engaging and meaningful experience for student-athletes” during the fall semester.

Denison won the women’s NCAC title in swimming & diving last season, while the men placed 2nd. Both the men (by 78 points) and women (by 120 points) led the psych sheet scoring for the swimming portion of the 2020 NCAA Championships, which were eventually canceled because of the burgeoning coronavirus pandemic.

NCAC schools have won 39 out of the 45 men’s NCAA Championships in history, while NCAC women’s teams have won 24 out of 38 that have been offered.

9 schools compete in the NCAC in women’s swimming & diving, while 10 compete in men’s swimming & diving.

The NCAC joins a growing list of Division III schools and conferences who have suspended fall sports for the 2020 school year. Earlier this month Kenyon announced independently of the conference that they would be suspending all athletic competition for the fall. This came as part of an announcement that they would be taking a staggered approach to return students to campus, with only underclassmen, transfers, and international students being allowed back during the fall semester. Because of this, juniors and seniors will most likely not be able to train with the team during the fall semester.

Also joining the list of teams to have canceled their fall seasons are Emory and the University of Chicago, both of which finished in the top ten on both the men’s and women’s sides in 2019. Chicago has said that they will begin allowing a phased approach to returning to training beginning on September 2nd.

Other NCAA Division III power programss that have canceled fall sports include MIT, Williams, and Pomona-Pitzer.

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Bailey
2 months ago

Oh no

Anon
2 months ago

Are there any major DIII schools left that have not canceled meets through 2021?

Swimman
Reply to  Anon
2 months ago

I can’t imagine there will be any D3 Swim teams competing until at least Jan. 1. This virus is getting worse each day. Do we know if D3 Nationals will he moved back until late April yet? I have heard that is likely.

Swim3057
Reply to  Swimman
2 months ago

Not sure where you’re getting your info from. There has been no movement toward moving championships back……won’t even be considered until it’s clear that there will be winter or spring sports and whether the NCAA will even have championships this year.

Bailey
Reply to  Anon
2 months ago

NYU is the big one that comes to mind, sure there are a couple others

Anon
Reply to  Bailey
2 months ago

NYU is not having meets till 2021 and fall sports are canceled. I am not sure if WashU has but I doubt even if they haven’t they wouldn’t have any meets due to lack of competition.

Bailey
Reply to  Anon
2 months ago

Oh okay didn’t hear about NYU yet

NONA
Reply to  Anon
2 months ago

Johns Hopkins has not announced publicly

Barbotus
Reply to  NONA
1 month ago

Hopkins is kind of weird, sports-wise. They are Centennial Conf for many/most sports, which has suspended competition through 2020. But they are independent for swimming, even though Centennial sponsors swimming. Curious if anyone knows the story here.

D m
Reply to  Anon
2 months ago

Our conference hasn’t canceled our sports yet, and so far released a statement saying it would be easier to bring back swimming among other sports. However, we race a few of the NCAC schools so I’m unsure how long it’s going to he before we cancel our sports.

Nathan Smith
2 months ago

Sorry to hear for these swimmers. It’s tough because they’re paying a lot for tuition and these schools sell themselves on their high rates of four year graduations, so many swimmers will be facing shortened athletic careers or paying out the nose. However, it seems like a solid decision simply based on logistics of competition and realities with their athletic department budgets. I hope the NCAA will move back D3 NCAA Championships and we can all help flatten to curve to make the season happen for these student-athletes.

Coach
Reply to  Nathan Smith
2 months ago

All private institutions are expensive, and most college swimmers are probably on less than 20% athletic money. This is straight terrible for everyone. All athletes this year will be in an unusually depressing scenario.

Dave Burleigh
Reply to  Coach
2 months ago

None of the D3 kids get money for athletics.

I’m sorry to hear about this for all the student athletes across all sports, especially the seniors. You devote years of your life to the sport you love only to have it end in a whimper. My guess is there will be no college sports of any kind this fall. Fingers crossed for delaying the season, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. It’s a timid, socially distanced new world.