NCAA Cancels 2020 College World Series

NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors cancelled spring NCAA championships which include the NCAA Div. I, II and III College World Series.

“This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities,” said the statement.

It was not known why there was such a rush to cancel the 2020 NCAA Div. I College World Series which was scheduled to be played three months from now June 13-June/23/24 in Omaha, Neb.

The College World Series is the second highest revenue producer of any NCAA championship behind the NCAA Div. I basketball tournament which also was cancelled.

NCAA Div. I Baseball
The Division I Council Coordination Committee agreed that eligibility relief is appropriate for all Division I student-athletes who participated in spring sports. Details of eligibility relief will be finalized at a later time. 

In addition, the Division I Council Coordination Committee put in place an immediate ban on in-person recruiting for Division I coaches. Additionally, the group advised schools to suspend any official and unofficial visits to campus from prospective athletes. This recruiting dead period will be in place until at least April 15 at which time the situation will be evaluated again.

Southeastern Conference Update (March 17): The SEC announced that all regular season conference and non-conference competitions are cancelled for the remainder of the 2019-20 athletic year, including all remaining SEC championship events, due to continuing developments related to the coronavirus.

Other athletics activities, including team and individual practices, meetings and other organized gatherings, whether required or voluntary, remain suspended through at least April 15.

SEC member institutions will continue to provide their student-athletes with care and support to meet needs in areas including academics, medical care, mental health and wellness, nutrition and housing as needed.

Pac-12 Conference Update (March 14): The Pac-12 CEO Group and Athletic Directors made the decision to cancel all Pac-12 Conference and non-conference sport competitions and Pac-12 championships through the end of the academic year, including springs sports that compete beyond the academic year such as baseball.

In addition, the Pac-12 Conference has made the decision to prohibit all organized team athletically-related activities until at least March 29, at which time it will revisit this decision.

NCAA Div. II Baseball
The NCAA Div. II Administrative Committee granted an additional season of eligibility to athletes in spring sports and waived sports sponsorship requirements for schools canceling spring springs.

The committee also implemented a recruiting dead period in all sports at least until April 15. The committee provided flexibility for schools to assist athletes with travel, in addition to the already permitted housing and meals.

NCAA Div. III Baseball
The NCAA Division III Administrative Committee provided flexibility for schools to assist students with travel, lodging and meals as a result of campus displacements. It also granted an additional season/semester of eligibility for athletes participating in spring sports.

NAIA Baseball
The NAIA announced that it is cancelling the spring 2020 sports season, effective immediately.

“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 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 an effort to provide relief, no spring sport student-athlete will be charged a season of competition. Any spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled full-time in 2020 will be awarded two additional semester terms of attendance or the equivalent.

The NAIA is continuing to address outstanding questions related to these unprecedented changes and will share new information as it becomes available.

NJCAA Baseball
Following the recent recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the NJCAA has made the difficult decision to cancel all spring competition, effective immediately.

Spring competition includes all practices, regular season, post-season, and national championship play.

Regarding eligibility for spring sports, no spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled at a member college in 2020 will be charged a year of participation.

Along with the cancellation of competition, all on and off-campus recruiting for all sports will be halted until April 15 with further evaluation to be assessed at that point in time. 

The NJCAA will explore the opportunity to expand allowable Letters of Intent for spring sports for both the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years under the recommendation of the NJCAA Eligibility Committee.

The NJCAA will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as more information becomes available.

California Community College Baseball
The California Community College Athletic Association Board of Directors voted to immediately postpone practices outside and competition for baseball teams. Administrators are monitoring coronavirus developments as well to see if the state baseball playoffs will be held or not. No timetable for a decision has been set.

A full report on the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic will be in the next edition of Collegiate Baseball.

Updates will be made in this story as they develop.