MT. PLEASANT — The coronavirus just keeps causing problems for NCAA Division III athletics.
On Thursday, the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced that the winter sports schedule would be pushed back to 2021. a decision that effects Iowa Wesleyan men’s and women’s basketball, as well as men’s and women’s wrestling.
The conference released a statement saying the Council of Presidents has decided to postpone SLIAC winter sports until no sooner than Jan. 1.
“The President’s Council felt it was an appropriate decision, as many SLIAC campuses continue to discuss and research their institutional ability to safely operate athletic competition within the NCAA Sports Science Institute return to competition testing mandates,” said Iowa Wesleyan in a statement.
The IW men’s basketball team will have to figure out the fate of eight non-conference games that were scheduled in November and December, including three conference games and a tournament.
The women’s team had 10 games scheduled, including three in the SLIAC, and one tournament.
“We are disappointed, as October is always an exciting time to start the season,” IW men’s head coach Alex Huisman said. “There is some relief as well, that we at least have a plan now and can start preparing for January.”
Huisman says his team is going to do everything to get the group in position to compete for the conference championship, and that he is hopeful the school can welcome fans in to the games in 2021.
The university was set to kick off its wrestling program in November as well, with teams scheduled to start play in the first 10 days of November. The university had its first scheduled home meet, a men’s and women’s dual against Fontbonne, which was scheduled for Nov. 18. Both wrestling teams had four events scheduled in 2020.