Mark Emmert: No 2020 Fall NCAA Championships. Full Stop.

The NCAA has officially canceled Division I championships in all fall sports except Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), due to ongoing concerns over COVID-19. NCAA President Mark Emmert went on Twitter today to explain the decision by the Board of Governors to do away with fall NCAA championships in fall sports:

“We cannot now at this point have fall NCAA championships. Because there’s not enough schools participating. The board of governors also established if you don’t have half of the schools playing a sport, you can’t have a legitimate championship. We can’t in any Division I NCAA championship sport now — which is everything other than FBS football that goes on in the fall. Sadly, tragically, that’s going to be the case this fall, full stop.”

NCAA Division I sports played in the fall include men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, football (Division I’s Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision), men’s water polo and women’s volleyball. The NCAA does not control football championships for the FBS, which are run by the individual conferences and an independent body “the Bowl Championship Series (BCS).” The Pac-12 and the MPSF had already announced there would be no fall water polo, and the Pac-12 and Big Ten, as well as a growing number of smaller conferences, had recently postponed all fall sports.

The NCAA is attempting to postpone the fall championships until the winter or spring. Emmert added, “But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t and can’t turn toward winter and spring and say, ‘How can we create a legitimate championship for all those students?’ There are ways to do this. I’m completely confident that we can figure this out if schools and conferences want to move forward and try to have [a championship], if more than half of them want to do it, and that’s surely the indication right now, then let’s do it.”

While the NCAA works out what to do with fall sports, winter sports –such as swimming and diving– and spring sports are in limbo. Some conferences have already canceled all fall competition, which means no fall dual meets and mid-season invites for swimming and diving.

Here is the updated list of all conferences who have announced plans to postpone fall sports.


Moving forward with fall seasons ACC Big Ten Postponed fall sports, possibility of playing in the spring
Moving forward with fall seasons Big 12 Pac-12 Postponed all sports (including swimming) competition to at least January 1. Possibility of playing fall sports in spring
Moving forward with fall seasons SEC MAC Postponed fall sports, possibility of playing in the spring
Moving forward with fall seasons AAC MWC Postponed all sports competition (including swimming), possibility of playing in spring. (Air Force exempt from postponement)
Planning to play but continuing to evaluate C-USA Patriot League Postponed fall sports (except Army & Navy), possibility of playing in the spring
No competition before October 1 Horizon League Ivy League Postponed fall sports, possibility of playing in the spring
No changes to season announced – several fall sport championships still scheduled MVC Summit League Postponed fall sports, possibility of playing in the spring
WAC Postponed fall sports to at least January 1, winter sports to at least October
Big East Postponed fall sports, possibility of playing in the spring
CAA Postponed football, no word on other fall sports
NEC Postponed all fall sports
America East Postponed fall sports, possibility of playing in the spring
A-10 Postponed fall sports, possibility of playing in the spring
MAAC Postponed fall sports, possibility of playing in the spring
MPSF Postponed men’s water polo (the conference’s only fall sport), possibility of playing in winter or spring

*The CCSA (or Coastal Collegiate Sports Association) does not sponsor any fall sports.



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1 month ago

There goes any fall sport competing in 2020 (excluding football). I would assume coaches will redshirt all players now.

1 month ago

Mark Emmert has failed miserably. Like XFL failed

Reply to  Anti-Illini
1 month ago

That’s a tough one. I think he did a great job in not making this initial an NCAA decision, but leaving it up to the schools to make the choice. Listen, who alive has ever been in this position? No one. Plans can be put on paper, but just because plans are on paper doesn’t necessarily mean they work in real life. The NCAA has done their best to evolve their strategy and I think it’s wrong to say you’ve done this, this, and this wrong when you’re not sitting in the chair Mark Emmert is in. Now, do I think their is an agenda working against all sports due to football, absolutely, but that’s a different topic for another… Read more »

1 month ago

How can they afford to redshirt everyone? Won’t they need to make room for the freshmen recruits too? Will the NCAA allow higher scholarship limits, and even if they do, how many schools can afford the extra cost?

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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