The NCAA Board of Governors met on Tuesday to discuss fall championships in all three divisions. This morning, the NCAA announced that each division would make its own decision about championships. Subsequently, the Division III President’s Council canceled fall sports championships. This includes the sports of cross country, field hockey, football, soccer, and volleyball. At the time of the decision, only the American Rivers Conference has indicated a plan to move forward with a fall conference schedule, so this decision was not a great surprise at the Division III level. It is not yet clear how this decision will affect the ARC or schools like Adrian that have announced plans to play this fall even though their conference has canceled the season.
The administrative and financial challenges caused by the pandemic were too great to allow fall championships. The NCAA faced a huge loss in revenue caused by the cancellation of the Division I men’s basketball tournament. The television contract for March Madness pays the NCAA over $800 million per year and a portion of that money is used to pay for Division III championship events. Per the NCAA Constitution, Division III receives 3.18% of NCAA revenues, and about 3/4 of that is used to conduct championships.