The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Presidents' Council has voted to postpone conference competition and conference tournaments for men's and women's cross country, football, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, and volleyball.
The conference will develop schedules for these sports to take place later in the academic year.
All MIAA member institutions will continue to follow the NCAA recommendations outlined in the Resocialization to Sport – Developing Standards for Competition and Sport document for preseason resocialization to campus, practice, and competition this fall.
Based on information from state and local medical experts and guidelines from the NCAA, Hope College has made the difficult decision to postpone fall athletic competition. This decision is in line with the college's priorities to provide the safest possible environment for an in-person, residential learning experience where the health and well-being of our students and campus community are the top priority.
"We are so disappointed and heartbroken for our student-athletes. We wish things were different," said Tim Schoonveld, Hope College Director of Athletics. "Hope College is dedicated to doing all it can to provide our student-athletes with transformational experiences in athletics. We are also fully committed as an institution to provide as much opportunity for our teams as possible given the state, local and NCAA guidelines. This will include allowable practice opportunities, leadership development, team-building activities and athletically related activities as directed by our coaches."
Decisions from the MIAA Presidents' Council regarding winter sports that begin play in the fall — men's and women's basketball, wrestling, swimming and diving, and indoor track and field — will be made at a later date.
Dr. Michael Le Roy, the president of Calvin University and current chair of the MIAA, expressed that "the member presidents of the MIAA share a strong commitment to cooperation and competition while expressing a range of perspectives reflective of each institution's mission and judgment about its capacities. Each day brings new challenges that none of us has faced before and our membership remains committed to continuing our work together with honesty and graciousness as we solve the many problems related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The MIAA has a storied history and a strong commitment to conference competition and we look forward to the future when we can do so together."
"We recognize the deep disappointment this decision is for our student-athletes, coaches, and parents at schools that will not be competing," said MIAA Commissioner Penny Allen-Cook. "We fully intend to develop engaging athletic experiences with the input of our coaches and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee that could include conference-wide virtual competitions, fundraising, social justice initiatives, and educational programming. While we understand that these activities will not replace conference competition in the fall, we are hopeful we can compete in the spring when less expensive and more accurate testing, better contact tracing and a possible vaccine for COVID-19 are available."
Adrian College, Calvin University, and Trine University are exploring options to compete in all fall sports that they normally sponsor. Olivet College will explore options for competing in cross country, golf and tennis this fall.