With the outbreak of COVID-19, otherwise known as the coronavirus, the Missouri Valley Conference has announced that it has canceled all intercollegiate competitions, including MVC championships, through the end of the 2019-2020 academic year. This includes all of Indiana State University winter and spring sports such as the Hoops in the Heartland tournament for women’s basketball, MVC indoor track and field champions, and baseball and softball seasons.
“With consolation with our leadership, meaning the presidents with each university within the conference, as well as the Athletic Directors, we all voted that it was the best course of action to take,” Director of ISU Athletics Sherard Clinkscales said.
On Thursday it was announced that the MVC would suspend all conference spring sports through March 30, then on Friday the MVC made the decision to shut down all of spring sports entirely.
The date to review any sort of continuation of practices or any type of sports performance activity will be April 13.
Sycamore Athletics released a statement in regards to the safety and concern for everyone involved with athletics.
“The main priority of the conference continues to be the well-being and safety of its student-athletes, administrators, coaches, media and fans. The league and its institutions will continue to work closely with local governments and health departments in monitoring the COVID-19 situation internationally and domestically.”
Indiana State has advised all its students to return home and stay in-doors during this hiatus.
“All student-athletes per the university are now telecommuting or working from home,” Clinkscales said. “They are not allowed to practice in any Indiana State faculty, not allowed to use the Sports Performance Center or any other area in regards to performance for any sport.”
According to Clinkscales, ISU Athletics will allow student-athletes to work with the athletic trainers if an injury or any health concerns occur. Also, academic support staff for athletes will be available if students need help with anything related to academics. The Council also placed an immediate ban on in-person recruiting.
“The NCAA has said for all sports, Division I and II, to cease all recruiting until further notice,” Clinkscales said.
The next step for ISU will be to wait patiently until this pandemic can be resolved and a solution shows itself.
“As of right now we are taking directions from our President Curtis and from our Board of Trustees in regards to what we do next and that will be how we will proceed forward in regards to our student-athletes and what is permissible and what’s not.”