TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced Monday, March 16 it is canceling the remainder of the 2020 spring sports seasons, effective immediately.
Stillman College baseball ends its season with a 7-10 record, Stillman softball finishes 8-6 and men’s and women’s track and field conclude the season after one event.
The decision is the latest in a series of college athletics decisions by the NAIA, Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) and Stillman College as they join together to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“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. “However, the growing state of emergency due to COVID-19, as well as the Center for Disease Control’s recommendation yesterday (March 15) 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.”
In addition to the cancelation, the NAIA announced it will not charge a year of eligibility to spring sport student-athletes who are enrolled full-time for the 2020 season, and will “award two additional semesters of attendance or the equivalent.”
Shortly after the NAIA’s decision, Commissioner Mike Hall of the Southern States Athletic Conference, which Stillman College is a member, issued a statement.
“We fully support the NAIA’s decision to cancel the spring 2020 sports season. As much as we hate to see the spring season cut short for our student-athletes, coaches, fans and staff, we have to look after their health and well-being first,” Hall said.
Previously, the NAIA canceled its 2019-2020 winter championships on March 12. Stillman College men’s basketball (20-10) was a No. 7 seed in the NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, which was scheduled to begin March 18.
The NAIA announced its governance committees will continue to address outstanding questions related to the fluid situation in these unprecedented times and will provide updates when they are available. One such question is eligibility decisions related to winter sports.