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CIAA suspends sports for fall 2020 amid COVID-19 concerns

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Posted at 6:11 PM, Jul 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-09 18:20:49-04

CHARLOTTE, Nc. -- The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) has suspended all sports for fall 2020 due to safety concerns amid COVID-19.

Officials say the decision was made after a thorough analysis of the pandemic and the reality that several CIAA schools are located in states experiencing dramatic increases in new COVID-19 cases.

“This was a difficult decision but remains consistent with our long-standing priority of always acting in the best interest of our student-athletes, coaches, and support staff,” said CIAA Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams. “While there will be no athletic competition in the fall, we will continue to support opportunities that enhance the experiences of our student-athletes, member institutions, and partners.”

The suspension of sports this fall affects Virginia State University and Virginia Union University, both members of the CIAA.

“The main priority of the Board and conference is the safety and well-being of our students and staff,” said Virginia State University President & CIAA Board Chair Makola Abdullah. “Although this decision is not ideal, it does afford all of us an opportunity to continue working through best practices to ensure our communities as a whole are in the best possible position moving forward.”

Despite the suspension of athletics, CIAA membership has unanimously agreed to honor athletic scholarships for fall sports student-athletes.

At the recommendation of the CIAA Athletic Directors Association, with approval from the Board of Directors, the conference will explore the possibility of a modified schedule of competition for football, volleyball, and men’s and women’s cross country during the spring of 2021.

A time frame on this decision has yet to be determined.

Conference officials say decisions concerning winter and spring sports will be discussed "as efforts to flatten the curve of new COVID-19 cases progress."