Football, soccer, volleyball and cross country at Missouri Western and Northwest Missouri State will now not have the chance to compete for a NCAA title this upcoming season.
This comes after the NCAA’s Board of Governors laid out requirements for the upcoming season, and called for each division to decide on its own fall championships on Wednesday.
In turn, the Division II Presidents Council decided to cancel all seven fall sports championships.
“I thought it was coming from the NCAA honestly this morning and then when it didn’t come, I thought ‘Oh, maybe we got something here,’ and then once you read their specific requirements ... it kind of became real,” Northwest Athletic Director Andy Peterson said. “It hurts, but at the same time you understand it.”
Missouri Western Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Josh Looney said, “We knew that fall championships were in question. I think the suddenness of a decision to fully cancel without a chance to move them to spring was surprising.”
Leading all D-II programs in playoff championships with six, Northwest’s football team won’t have the opportunity to try and make a run in this year’s playoffs.
Both Northwest and Missouri Western were ranked in College Football America’s Division II Preseason Top 30.
“Obviously, our student-athletes are left with a lot of questions. So, frustration, no doubt. And we woke up today as a league fully preparing in moving forward in our plan to play,” Looney said.
In a release, D-II Presidents Council chair Sandra Jordan said playing fall championships in the spring “was not a viable or fiscally responsible option” for the division.
“You’re going to look around and see high schools play. You’re going to look around, and the Heart of America Conference is playing,” Looney said. “In the MIAA, it has been our intent to play, but now we need to kind of reset those conversations and explore that feasibility and that’s really what tomorrow’s discussions will be.”
MIAA leadership met on Thursday to discuss what they plan to do.
“We’ve got a wide range of things to talk about: what does this mean for us, what do our regular seasons look like, what do practices and mitigation measures look like,” Peterson said. “Obviously, this decision today will probably dominate the conversation and we’ll put our heads together to see what we can do to uplift our student-athletes and try to give them the experience that they all want and need at this time, so that’s what we’ll be fighting for tomorrow, I’m sure.”
In a similar move, Division III decided to cancel their fall postseason on Wednesday.
The NCAA said in a statement that other divisions have until Aug. 21 to decide whether they will hold fall championships.
If 50% or more of eligible teams cancel their season, the NCAA will not hold championship events in that division.