The North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) has joined the NESCAC as the 2nd powerhouse NCAA Division III Conference to cancel all conference play and conference championships for the 2020-2021 winter sports season. This is in response to the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.
The NCAC follows the NESCAC, which announced a similar decision last week.
Like the NESCAC, the NCAC will allow member institutions to schedule their own outside competition if those institutions want to.
The NCAC institutions have all agreed that they will not return student-athletes to campus for practices or other athletically related activities between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
“In keeping with public health guidance, members have maintained universal masking and physical distancing protocols, limits on travel on and off campus, and limits on the size of on-campus gatherings, as well as contact tracing, quarantine and isolation protocols. Additionally, many of our institutions have made, or are considering, significant modifications to the 2020-21 academic calendar. As a result, many of our students will not return to campus for the spring semester until late January or early February.”
The NCAC is home to 2 of the most successful Division III swimming programs in history, Kenyon College and Denison University.
The Kenyon men have won 34 of the 45 NCAA Division III Championships ever offered, with Denison having won another 5. Those are the two highest totals among Division III schools.
The Kenyon women have won 23 out of 38 NCAA Division III Championships, and the Denison women have won 1.
Both Kenyon and Denison say that they have not yet made a determination about spring sports or about playing a modified fall sports schedule during the spring season.
Denison, specifically, says they maintain “hopes of competing” this season, and in an FAQ section say that it is “expected that the NCAA threshold for conducting championships in any Division will be that at least 50 percent of the teams competing in any sport mus conduct a regular season.”