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CARMEL, Ind. - The NCAA Division III Heartland Collegiate Athtletic Conference, which includes Hanover and Franklin Colleges and Mount St. Joseph University, voted unanimously July 27 to move fall 2020 sports seasons for football, men's and women's soccer and volleyball to the spring of 2021.

"After extensive deliberations, the HCAC Council of Presidents has unanimously voted to modify the timing of conference competition and championships for fall sports classified by the NCAA as high contact risk (football, men's and women's soccer, women's volleyball)," stated league officials via a press release.

"The Conference will move the start of those sports' competitive seasons to the spring. The HCAC is committed to offering engaging athletic experiences for student athletes in these sports with extensive team activities this fall followed by spring competitive seasons.

"In adjusting to the challenges presented by the pandemic, these modifications maintain safety as the highest priority but help ensure the opportunity for as much participation as possible in each HCAC sport."

The decision came after careful analysis of whether its institutions could successfully fulfill NCAA testing recommendations without drawing vital health resources from their local communities, league officials added.

Because their risk classifications are lower, the HCAC plans to go forward with fall seasons for golf, tennis and cross country. The conference also will allow fall competitions in baseball and softball that will not count toward league standings.

A decision on the 2020-21 basketball seasons (defined as high contact risk sport by the NCAA) will be made in the near future, the league said.

Classified as a low contact risk sport, winter season men's and women's swimming and diving and will go forward with its standard schedule.

Indoor and outdoor track and field and men's and women's lacrosse schedules have not been altered.

The HCAC announcement concluded: "The conference will continue to explore all options for a safe return to intercollegiate athletics. The priority of the HCAC and its Council of Presidents continues to be the health and safety of everyone in our campus communities and those involved in intercollegiate athletics at HCAC member institutions."


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