UNK fall sports season delayed
The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association delays start of fall sports season.
KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - Nebraska-Kearney fall sport teams must wait to begin their seasons after the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association voted unanimously to push back the start of the fall season. For all of the conferences 14 schools, competitions begin on Monday, Sept. 28, with student-athletes reporting to fall camp and practice on Monday, Aug. 31.
“Not surprised,” said Rick Squiers, UNK volleyball coach. “You see what’s going on in some other parts of the country and at least up to this point comparatively we’ve been rather fortunate.”
In UNK’s statement, athletic director Marc Bauer said the move gives the league time to make sure student-athletes and coaches practice and compete in a safe environment.
The NCAA approved a new rule allowing sports to start in one semester and conclude in another, meaning teams could see their season start in the fall and finish in the spring. On UNK’s website, the schedules for the football, volleyball and women’s soccer teams reflect this.
“I’m not a big fan of it,” said Josh Lynn, UNK football coach. “However us getting to play 10 games, if it’s stretched over the course of two semesters, I have no problem with it. At least our young men are going to be able to get on the field and play some football.”
The football team is scheduled to play 7 games in the fall, 3 in the spring. The volleyball team is scheduled to play 15 games in the fall, 5 in the spring. The women’s soccer team is scheduled to play 9 games in the fall, 4 in the spring. Schedules for women’s tennis, women’s golf and men’s & women’s cross country are still being finalized.
Squiers said with so many unknowns revolving around the coronavirus pandemic, he and his players will have to be flexible this fall.
“You’re never going to quite know what’s going on,” Squiers said. “It’s going to change often and you’re going to just have to deal with it. The teams that deal with that the best are going to be the teams that have the best chance to be successful.”
Of the 23 conferences in Division II, nine have already cancelled their fall season. The MIAA has not released any information on guidelines schools must follow when practices begin but campus leadership plan to meet on Aug. 3 to discuss those details and how they want to proceed with fall schedules.
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