ODAC postpones athletic competition through end of 2020

The conference intends to schedule fall and winter sports in the spring semester.
The ODAC voted to postpone all athletic competition through 2020 on Tuesday.
The ODAC voted to postpone all athletic competition through 2020 on Tuesday.(ODAC)
Published: Jul. 21, 2020 at 5:23 PM EDT
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FOREST, Va. (WDBJ) - The Old Dominion Athletic Conference has postponed all athletic competition for fall and winter sports through December 31, 2020, the conference announced in a release on Tuesday.

The league said it intends to sponsor conference competition for fall and winter sports in the spring semester and remains focused on providing “meaningful competition for all student-athletes in 2020-21.”

“The ODAC is one of the nation’s premiere Division III athletic conferences precisely because of our long-standing commitment to the student-athlete experience at all of our institutions,” said David Bushman, President at Bridgewater College and chair of the ODAC Presidents Council, in the release. “In light of the broader public health concerns surrounding athletic competitions, the well-being of our campuses and everyone involved in athletic competition made this decision the right one. We have great athletic department leadership across the conference and a superb conference staff and we are all committed to hosting meaningful competition as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Washington and Lee already made the decision to not compete in fall semester athletics earlier this month.

“The conference’s leadership worked extremely hard to explore ways we might have conducted conference championships and competition in the fall,” said ODAC Commissioner Brad Bankston in the release. “Those conversations involved a number of options, but none of them could change the current impact of the virus and its prevalence in our society. A safe return for students and the sustainability of campus life is a priority for all our members. The combination of fall, winter, and spring sports in the second semester is challenging, but the ODAC is committed to providing all student-athletes with a meaningful conference regular season and championship experience in a safe manner.”

The conference said it will continue to explore all options for a safe return to intercollegiate athletics and plans to release further developments regarding competition in 2020-21 as solutions are finalized and implemented.

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