The Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) has postponed their 2020 conference football season, the league announced on Friday.
The decision, which was made a result of the ongoing novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, also includes men’s and women’s cross country, women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball.
“After careful deliberation, weighing all the factors as presented, and given the current uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the OVC Board of Presidents voted to postpone the Conference’s fall sports to the spring, said Beth DeBauche, OVC Commissioner. With the focus on student-athletes, the Conference leaders made this value-based decision with a commitment to continue to monitor the evolving situation and to strive to establish meaningful competitive opportunities in the spring for our fall sport student-athletes.According to the statement, the Southern Conference intends to move regular-season competition and championships to the spring.
“While we understand there are many student-athletes, families, and communities that are disappointed by the lack of Conference competition this fall, and we deeply share that disappointment; it is the OVC’s ardent intention to ensure seasons postponed are not seasons canceled if the facts support it. I want to thank our student-athletes and coaches for their resilience during these trying times, our staff and administrators for all their hard work and planning over the past five months, and the presidents and chancellors for their strong and principled leadership over this outstanding Conference.”
The Ohio Valley Conference will allow its members to compete in non-conference competition this fall, should they choose to do so. This mirrors decisions by the Missouri Valley Football Conference, Big South Conference, Southland Conference, and Southern Conference.
OVC football-playing institutions that are able to demonstrate a team’s willingness and readiness to compete based on the NCAA’s Resocialization of Collegiate Sport: Developing Standards for Practice and Competition and the NCAA’s mental health guidance are approved to play up to four nonconference scheduled games.
The Ohio Valley Conference was the last of the 13 Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) conferences to cancel their fall sports. The Ivy League was the first conference to cancel their season, having made their announcement back on July 8.