NAIA cancels all spring sports

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics announced on Monday the cancelation of all spring sports, officially closing out the 2019–20 school year of athletics for Huntington University.

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced on Monday the cancelation of all remaining spring sporting events for the 2019–20 school year due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

As a conference of the NAIA, the Crossroads League and its institutions, including Huntington University, will resume competition in the fall. The news comes after the Crossroads League announced on Friday the suspension of all play through April 1.

“All possible scenarios that would have supported a spring sports season were seriously considered by multiple NAIA governance groups,” said NAIA President and CEO Jim Carr in a press release. “However, the growing state of emergency due to COVID-19, as well as the Center for Disease Control’s recommendation yesterday to limit gatherings to fewer than 50 people for eight weeks, meant we could not in good conscience move forward with the spring sports season and championships.”

As a result, the NAIA announced no spring sport student-athlete will lose a season of eligibility. Additionally, any spring sport student-athlete enrolled as a full-time student at a member institution in 2020 will receive two additional semester terms of attendance.

The Huntington University athletic department and Huntington University Athletic Director Lori Culler support the decision of the NAIA and will move forward under the NAIA’s direction.

“Obviously these are unprecedented times which have required difficult decisions to be made,” Culler said. “My heart goes out to all the athletes and coaches affected by this extraordinary situation. We will be looking to the NAIA and Crossroads League administration for leadership in ways to provide support and relief for our athletes’ eligibility moving forward.”

According to the NAIA, the organization will continue addressing outstanding questions related to the changes and will disperse any new information when available.

Huntington University athletics will resume in the fall when the men’s and women’s bowling, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s tennis and volleyball teams return to action.