The NCAA Division II President’s Council announced today that it has adjusted Division II’s maximum number of permissible contests (in all sports) for the 2020-21 academic year. This action by the NCAA is a response to help Division II institutions manage the economic fallout from the COVID-19 Global Health Pandemic. The Council has also approved changes to the division’s minimum number of contests (in all sports) that must be completed for postseason selection for the 2020-21 academic year. The maximum and minimum number of contests for the 2020-2021 academic year are available here.
With these changes set for Division II, the MIAA’s scheduling subcommittee will review MIAA schedules for the 2020-21 academic year, and make modifications where necessary to comply with the new NCAA requirements. The scheduling subcommittee is comprised of an administrator from each MIAA member institution. The scheduling subcommittee will make its recommendations in the next few weeks, and the Association is hopeful that MIAA schedule adjustments will be approved by the MIAA CEO Council when that group meets by videoconference on June 15.
“I applaud the NCAA for this quick action to help schools address the disruption and budget shortfalls occurring in higher education”, stated MIAA Commissioner Mike Racy. “As state tax revenues continue to decline, and state expenses continue to increase, and higher education appropriations in each state continue to shrink, these NCAA reductions in every Division II sport will assist MIAA athletics departments as they make adjustments to their 2020-21 budgets.”
As noted by the NCAA, the emergency one-year recommendations from the President’s Council are focused on institutional cost savings, reducing athletics operating costs as a result of COVID-19 compliance, and preserving fair and equitable standards for Division II championships’ selection and competition.
The Presidents Council said: “NCAA Division II conferences and institutions have acknowledged through survey feedback on contests reductions that COVID-19 has presented us with financial challenges that we are proactively addressing together. In that spirit, and as a result of the governance structure’s decision to reduce contest maximums, thus affecting current schedules, we strongly encourage all member institutions and conferences to work cooperatively and collegially when adjusting schedules. Please keep in mind the purpose behind these actions is to assist all institutions with short-term financial concerns so that we may emerge stronger as a membership and division.”
The one-year scheduling changes considered by the President’s Council were recommended by the NCAA Management Council after the Council reviewed feedback from several leadership groups including Division II governance committees, the National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and two surveys of the Division II membership.
“As a student-athlete, it is not easy to accept that I will be playing a shorter season. However, I know that the NCAA and MIAA put student-athletes first and I understand that cutting the maximums will help more institutions to stay open and athletic programs to compete equitably,” stated Mackenzie O’Neill, Missouri Western women’s soccer student-athlete and the MIAA’s NCAA Division II National SAAC Representative. “These are unprecedented and challenging times, and this season is going to look different. I trust the MIAA will adjust to this adversity, as we have from the beginning, and continue to uphold a high level of competition throughout the conference.“