GLIAC postpones fall sports, SVSU, Northwood AD’s react

Decision will also delay basketball seasons
The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference has 9 schools in Michigan.
The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference has 9 schools in Michigan.(GLIAC, Saginaw Valley State University, Grand Valley State University, Ferris State University, Michigan Tech University, Northern Michigan University, Lake Superior State University, Wayne State University, Davenport University, Northwood University)
Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 5:20 PM EDT
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MIDLAND, Mich. (WJRT) - The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference joined others today and postponed fall sports because of COVID-19.

In fact, all sports are suspended for the rest of the year.

Two mid-Michigan schools are impacted.

“To get this news on the cusp of the season is disappointing,” says Saginaw Valley State University Athletic Director John Decker.

“In March, you wouldn’t have envisioned in August we are having these same conversations,” says Northwood University Athletic Director Dave Marsh.

But here we are, as the GLIAC has postponed fall sports, including football and soccer.

“It wasn’t doable, for the health and well being, not just of the student athletes but coaches and staff, and the other students on campuses,” says Marsh.

There is still uncertainty over the long-term effects of the coronavirus, which has factored in the MAC, Big Ten and PAC 10 decisions to hold off on competing in high risk sports like football.

“A heart condition that people had not previously been aware of, I think that factored heavily into their decision and also into ours,” says Decker.

Today’s announcement will also have an impact on winter sports.

“Most notably men’s and women’s basketball because they normally start playing games in November and December,” but Decker says games could begin in January.

Marsh says NCCA rules on COVID-19 about testing athletes would make it nearly impossible to follow.

“We are supposed to test 72 hours prior to a competition, well it takes a week to get the results back, that alone doesn’t even make it feasible to do,” he says.

Marsh and Decker say they are working on a plan to allow the fall sports athletes to practice.

“We are working with our coaches, with our athletic trainers on how that would look,” says Marsh.

And possibly develop a fall sports schedule in the spring.

“If we did, it would probably be a reduced schedule of games,” says Decker.

“Hopefully by the spring, the numbers are better, the testing is more available,” says Marsh.

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