The Big West Conference Board of Directors said Wednesday that the league’s fall sports will be postponed through the end of the calendar year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In making the decision, the board recognized the continued challenges to health and safety on Big West campuses and beyond because of the coronavirus.
UC San Diego had been set to begin Division I play in the Big West this year, after 20 years of competing in Division II.
“Although I am heartbroken by the difficult decision of Big West Conference university presidents and chancellors to postpone fall sports competition, I wholeheartedly support the intent – to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our scholar-athletes, coaches, staff and others involved with the operation of our 23 sport programs,” said Earl W. Edwards, UC San Diego’s Director of Athletics.
“Until we see the trends associated with this pandemic turn favorable, the decision to place a hold on competition is the right thing to do.”
The postponement of fall competition does not impact the status of UCSD’s transition to NCAA Division I competition. The four-year transition period concludes in spring 2024.
This decision by Big West leadership will impact all UC San Diego intercollegiate athletic competitions. That includes those that aren’t members of the Big West Conference, most notably, the men’s water polo program, part of the Western Water Polo Association.
The postponement of competition in conference-sponsored fall sports includes men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s and women’s tennis.
The status of the upcoming men’s and women’s basketball seasons, due to begin Nov. 10, will be determined as health and safety guidelines permit.
The return to campus of student-athletes is allowed at Big West institutions, but will be done at the discretion of each institution. On-campus athletic related activity will follow strict compliance with NCAA regulations, institutional policies, and public health guidelines.
As medical and scientific data evolves surrounding the pandemic, conference officials said they will continue to monitor developments and consider additional actions as needed.
– Staff reports
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