Canceled back to back
Jon Quinn (TheLorian)
In a tweet, the NCAA Division III announced that the winter championships for the 2020-2021 academic year are canceled. They cited low participation numbers among member schools as the reason. The news dropped Wednesday, Feb. 3.
The President of Loras College, Jim Collins, offered his gratitude via Twitter to student athletes. “I offer admiration and appreciation [for] all NCAA [Division III] Winter student-athletes, especially those @LorasAthletics [for the second straight] year, [you] are unable [to] compete [for a] national championship due to circumstances beyond your control. I share your heartbreak & offer my respect. More later #Duhawks.”
According to NCAA.org, all Division III athletic directors were sent a declaration form to evaluate who would be competing; 98 percent of organizations responded. The breakdown in the table shows the data collected. The threshold to provide a national championships experience would be 60 percent for basketball, swimming and diving, and indoor track and field and 70 percent for ice hockey and wrestling.
This would be the second consecutive year the NCAA Division III canceled its winter championships. Last year, the event was canceled due to fears of the COVID-19 Pandemic. After more than a year of pandemic conditions, the NCAA made several changes to the rules and regulations in an effort to make sports competitions safer for athletes. Several student-athletes shared their grief, sometimes tinged with sarcasm, on twitter.
Senior cross country and track & field athlete Joey Schultz quoted the NCAA Division III tweet and said “Because everyone knows D3 championships are much more dangerous than D1 or D2 championships.”
The decision impacts men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, men’s and women’s ice hockey, and wrestling.
Athletics have endured a lot of changes over the past year due to the pandemic. Starting with the next issue, the Lorian will be presenting a series of stories talking with athletes and coaches about the challenges and disappointments they’ve faced because of the pandemic. The four-story series will be called: “COVID-19 and sports.”