After reviewing the latest information and guidance from NCAA Division III leadership concerning the return to sports for fall, the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Council of Presidents voted unanimously to postpone all conference-related contests and competitions slated for fall 2020.
The Heartland Conference previously made the decision to delay the start of competitive seasons for those sports classified by the NCAA as high-risk sports - including football, men's and women's soccer, and women's volleyball - to the spring. The latest vote also postpones competition for those sports the NCAA classified as medium- and low-contact-risk, which includes women's golf, women's tennis, and men's and women's cross country.
The Council of Presidents noted that member institutions have made every reasonable effort to conduct safe competitions this fall, meeting the NCAA's resocialization expectations. Given the recent statement from Division III leadership, the Council voted to suspend conference-related competition until Jan. 1, 2021. Each HCAC member institution, however, will retain the individual autonomy to conduct appropriate athletic-related activities.
The Heartland Conference remains committed to offering engaging athletic experiences for student athletes in all its sports with extensive team activities this fall, followed by spring competitive seasons.
The winter sports of basketball - defined as high-contact-risk sport by the NCAA - and swimming and diving - classified as a low-contact-risk sport - will not hold competition prior to January 2021.
The HCAC will continue to explore all options for a safe return to intercollegiate athletics. The league's leadership will communicate further developments regarding competition in 2020-21 as solutions are finalized and implemented. The priority of the league and its Council of Presidents continues to be a commitment to the health and safety of everyone in its campus communities and those involved in intercollegiate athletics at member institutions.