INDIANAPOLIS -- Due to low participation numbers among member schools, NCAA Division III winter championships are canceled for the 2020-21 academic year.
For the University of Mount Union, this affects men's and women's basketball, men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's indoor track and field and wrestling.
"Everyone at Mount Union is going to continue to work as hard as we can to provide as many meaningful experiences as possible for our student-athletes going forward," commented Mike Parnell, interim director of athletics at Mount Union. "While we understand the decision made by NCAA Division III, all of us at Mount Union are disappointed that our student-athletes and teams are not going to have an opportunity to compete on a national level."
The decision does not restrict an institution from competing during the 2020-21 season and Mount Union plans to continue with its current schedules and Ohio Athletic Conference competition in each sport.
Among the events included in the cancellation
- The 2021 Indoor Track & Field Championships scheduled for March 12-13 at SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio, hosted by Mount Union and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.
- The Men's Basketball Championship was slated for March 19-21 at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum Arena in Fort Wayne, Indiana
- The Women's Basketball Championship on March 19-21 at Salem Civic Center in Salem, Virginia.
- The Swimming and Diving Championships on March 17-20 at Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Seattle, Washington
- The Wrestling Championships on March 12-13 at LaCrosse Center in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.
"Today, we made the difficult decision to cancel our Division III winter championships. While some institutions have been able to safely return to sport, the recent declaration form data show that more than half of our division has not returned to winter sport practice and competition to be in a position for NCAA national championship participation," said Fayneese Miller, chair of the Presidents Council and president at Hamline. "This was a very difficult decision to make, and we are saddened to do so. However, none of our winter sports meet the Championships Committee's established thresholds of participation to hold a championship. We are committed to ensuring that our student-athletes have the best possible experience, and, for us, this means having a meaningful number of competitions. We hope this is possible for our spring championship."