As numbers spike, chances for a fall NCAA volleyball season keep sinking

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NCAA volleyball 7/29/2020-Yossiana Pressley-Baylor Volleyball
In this shot, Baylor's Yossiana Pressley gets ready to attack in last year's NCAA national semifinals in Pittsburgh's PPG Paints arena. Will we have an NCAA Championship in 2020?/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

This story has been updated to show the changes made Wednesday by the ACC and Northeast Conference and a statement from the Mountain West and making corrections on teams moving conferences.

Ah, the good old days, when spike meant something positive for us in volleyball.

Now spike is a negative term, and with coronavirus spiking the nation over, volleyball is in jeopardy.

Serious jeopardy in 2020.

Need convincing?

There are 32 NCAA Division I conferences. Nine — America East, Atlantic 10, Big West, Ivy League, MEAC, Metro Atlantic, Northeast, Patriot, and SWAC — have already said they will not have fall sports in 2020.

That’s more than one-fourth of the conferences in the country.

Two of the Power 5, the Big Ten and the Pac-12, have declared their leagues will play only conference matches. We’re waiting on the inevitable follow-along from the Big 12, the ACC, and the SEC. The ACC has a plan and it’s tenuous at best for volleyball, calling for a September 10 start and noting that volleyball would play a minimum of 10 matches.

Tick, tick, tick … It’s like that old vaudeville routine about Niagara Falls: “Slowly I turned, inch by inch … ”

It’s not looking good.

That’s not counting the NAIA, the NCAA Division II and Division III teams and/or conferences and junior colleges ranks that have simply declared they either won’t have sports this fall or even all school year.

Arizona State threw in the towel on swimming and diving and said it simply will redshirt every one of its athletes in those sports for 2020-21. Look for others to follow (swim) suit.

Wisconsin coach Kelly Sheffield told the Point Wisconsin podcast on Tuesday, “I think everybody has gotten to the point where they’d like to see us move to the spring. Let’s stop trying to move this back. We don’t even have a conference schedule right now, and we’re 10 days from preseason.

“If we thought there was a reasonable chance to begin this fall and finish the fall, almost everybody would say, all right, let’s go, let’s do this. This push for the spring is a feeling that we’re going to get started in the fall and not get anywhere close to being able to finish it.”

And take from this what you will from NCAA president Mark Emmert this past Friday:
“Today the Board of Governors and I agreed that we must continue to thoughtfully and aggressively monitor health conditions around the country and the implementation of the COVID-19 guidelines we issued last week. The health and well-being of college athletes is the highest priority in deciding whether to proceed with our 22 NCAA championships beginning in late November. We all remain deeply concerned about the infection trend lines we see. It is clear that the format of our championships will have to change if they are to be conducted in a safe and fair manner.  We discussed other complexities in addition to the health and safety impacts, to include team availability, travel limitations and various local and state restrictions. We will continue our discussions in August.”

Here’s where the NCAA Division I conferences stand:

AMERICA EAST (7 schools)
The conference announced on July 17 that it would postpone sports for the fall semester.
The league said in its announcement “ … the conference will develop plans for a competitive structure in the second semester and will identify a working group to begin studying this immediately. Athletics activities and student-athlete services for fall sports including but not limited to training, practice, strength and conditioning, athletic training and academic support will be permitted at each institution’s discretion in adherence with NCAA rules and local and state health and safety guidelines.”
Albany
Binghamton
Hartford
New Hampshire
NJIT
Stony Brook
UMBC
AMERICAN ATHLETIC (11 schools)
The AAC, which considers itself part of a power 6, announced on July 22 the start of fall sports until September 1.
“The delay in competition includes exhibition and non-conference competition in the sports of men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball,” the AAC said. “The rescheduling of nonconference contests due to these adjustments will be determined by each member institution.”
Cincinnati
East Carolina
Houston
Memphis
SMU
South Florida
Temple
Tulane
Tulsa
UCF
Wichita State
ATLANTIC COAST (15 schools)
The league announced Wednesday afternoon that it would start on September 10 and it appears that it won’t be opposed to an abbreviated volleyball season.
“Team sports will play a conference schedule that meets the NCAA minimum amount of games: field hockey (6), women’s soccer (6), men’s soccer (6) and volleyball (10),” the ACC news release said, adding, “Any additional games against conference opponents or non-conference opponents are at the respective school’s discretion and all opponents must meet the ACC’s medical standards,” and “Any additional games against conference opponents that are beyond the conference-mandated schedules would not count in the ACC standings.”
Boston College
Clemson
Duke
Florida State
Georgia Tech
Louisville
Miami (FL)
North Carolina
NC State
Notre Dame
Pittsburgh
Syracuse
Virginia
Virginia Tech
Wake Forest
ATLANTIC SUN (9 schools)
The ASUN, which sponsors volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country, and men’s and women’s soccer in the fall, postponed the start until September 18 for all sports.
Bellarmine
FGCU
Jacksonville
Kennesaw State
Liberty
Lipscomb
North Alabama
North Florida
Stetson
ATLANTIC 10 (10 schools)
The A10 postponed all sports until the spring.
“The league intends to conduct a competitive schedule for the fall sports in the 2021 spring semester. Details on the rescheduling of contests and championships will be announced at a later date,” the A10 said.
Davidson
Dayton
Duquesne
Fordham
George Mason
George Washington
La Salle
Rhode Island
Saint Louis
VCU
BIG EAST (11 schools)
The league announced on July 16 that it will not have non-conference competition this fall. It said that “No decision is being made at this time regarding BIG EAST fall sports conference competition and championships.”
Butler
Creighton
DePaul
Georgetown
Marquette
Providence
St. John’s (NY)
Seton Hall
UConn
Villanova
Xavier
BIG SKY (11 schools)
The Big Sky will also start Olympic sports no earlier than September 18. No word yet on football.
Eastern Washington
Idaho
Idaho State
Montana
Montana State
Northern Arizona
Northern Colorado
Portland State
Sacramento State
Southern Utah
Weber State
BIG SOUTH (10 schools)
The league said it will start fall sports on September 3.
Campbell
Charleston Southern
Gardner-Webb
Hampton
High Point
Presbyterian
Radford
UNC Asheville
USC Upstate
Winthrop
BIG TEN (14 schools)
The conference announced on July 9 “that if the Conference is able to participate in fall sports (men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball) based on medical advice, it will move to Conference-only schedules in those sports. Details for these sports will be released at a later date, while decisions on sports not listed above will continue to be evaluated. By limiting competition to other Big Ten institutions, the Conference will have the greatest flexibility to adjust its own operations throughout the season and make quick decisions in real-time based on the most current evolving medical advice and the fluid nature of the pandemic.”
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Maryland
Michigan
Michigan State
Minnesota
Nebraska
Northwestern
Ohio State
Penn State
Purdue
Rutgers
Wisconsin
*Conference Only
BIG 12 (9 schools)
The Big 12 announced its preseason volleyball awards (Texas was No.1 in the coaches poll and Baylor second) on June 29, but has yet to make a statement about fall sports.
Baylor
Iowa State
Kansas
Kansas State
Oklahoma
TCU
Texas
Texas Tech
West Virginia
BIG WEST (11 schools)
The league made the announcement Wednesday afternoon that it has postponed all sports until 2021.
“The postponement of competition in conference-sponsored fall sports includes men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball,” the announcement said. “The fall competitive schedules for men’s golf, women’s golf, men’s tennis, and women’s tennis will also be postponed, as well as fall competition for sports in their non-traditional segment. This decision does not impact fall sports unaffiliated with the Big West Conference.”
UC Davis
UC Irvine
UC Riverside
UC San Diego
UC Santa Barbara
Cal State Bakersfield
Cal Poly
Cal State Fullerton
CSUN
Hawaii
Long Beach State
COLONIAL (9 schools)
The CAA canceled football but volleyball allowed for, as one coach called it, “extremely flexible scheduling.” Delaware, Hofstra, Northeastern and Towson will not play in the fall and are hoping for spring seasons. Charleston, Elon, James Madison and UNCW are still on for the fall.
A CAA spokesperson directed us to this statement.
College of Charleston
Delaware
Elon
Hofstra
James Madison
Northeastern
Towson
UNCW
William & Mary
CONFERENCE USA (13 schools)
The league is quiet. Coaches report that they’ve been told nothing.
“We still have no word,” said one.
Charlotte
FIU
Florida Atlantic
Louisiana Tech
Marshall
Middle Tennessee
North Texas
Rice
Southern Miss.
UAB
UTEP
UTSA
Western Kentucky
HORIZON LEAGUE (12 schools)
The conference announced on July 16 that it will delay the start of fall sports until at least October 1.
Cleveland State
Detroit Mercy
Green Bay
IUPUI
Milwaukee
Northern Kentucky
Oakland
Purdue Fort Wayne
Robert Morris
UIC
Wright State
Youngstown State
IVY (8 schools)
The Ivy League was the first to shut it down for the fall. The league announcement came on July 8, in which it said, ”As athletics is expected to operate consistent with campus policies, it will not be possible for Ivy League teams to participate in intercollegiate athletics competition prior to the end of the fall semester.”
Brown
Columbia
Cornell
Dartmouth
Harvard
Penn
Princeton
Yale
METRO ATLANTIC (10)
The MAAC canceled all fall sports with its announcement on Sunday. “A decision on whether fall sport competition would be feasible in the spring will be determined by the presidents at a later date. Athletically related activities and training opportunities for enrolled student-athletes will be structured in accordance with each institution’s procedures and applicable state regulations.”
Canisius
Fairfield
Iona
Manhattan
Marist
Niagara
Quinnipiac
Rider
Saint Peter’s
Siena
MID-AMERICAN (12 schools)
The two-division volleyball league on July 16 postponed its Olympic sports until September 3.
Akron
Ball State
Bowling Green
Buffalo
Central Mich.
Eastern Mich.
Kent State
Miami (OH)
Northern Ill.
Ohio
Toledo
Western Mich.
MID-EASTERN (11 schools)
The MEAC canceled fall sports July 16 and is hoping to play in the spring.
Bethune-Cookman
Coppin State
Delaware State
Florida A&M
Howard
Morgan State
Norfolk State
N.C. A&T
N.C. Central
South Carolina State
UMES
(FAMU and B-C are headed to the SWAC in 2021-22)
MISSOURI VALLEY (10 schools)
The Valley announced Sunday that it, too, would hold off on all fall sports until September 18, “and the league will conduct conference-only competition in men’s soccer, women’s soccer and volleyball.”
Bradley
Drake
Evansville
Illinois State
Indiana State
Loyola Chicago
Missouri State
UNI
Southern Ill.
Valparaiso
MOUNTAIN WEST (11 schools)
A Mountain West spokesperson replied to our email request for an update:
“The Mountain West membership and advisors meet on a nearly daily basis exploring the myriad of potential scenarios around returning to competition. All conversations are led by academics, as well as public health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, campuses and local communities. A decision on the fall season is anticipated within the next couple of weeks.”
Air Force
Boise State
Colorado State
Fresno State
Nevada
New Mexico
San Diego State
San Jose State
UNLV
Utah State
Wyoming
NORTHEAST (10 schools)
The NEC announced Tuesday it has postponed all fall sports.
“This postponement applies to NEC sponsored sports and impacts men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball, as well as all other NEC sports scheduled to engage in competition this fall. The Council agreed to reconvene again by October 1 to evaluate the public health crisis and competitive options moving forward.”
Bryant
Central Connecticut State
Fairleigh Dickinson
LIU
Merrimack
Mount St. Mary’s
Sacred Heart
St. Francis Brooklyn
Saint Francis (PA)
Wagner
OHIO VALLEY (12)
The OVC will start fall Olympic sports on September 17 and will allow conference-only competition in volleyball and women’s soccer.
Austin Peay
Belmont
Eastern Illinois
Eastern Kentucky
Jacksonville State
Morehead State
Murray State
SIUE
Southeast Mo. State
Tennessee State
Tennessee Tech
UT Martin
PAC-12 (12 schools)
The league announced on July 10 “that the fall season for several Pac-12 sports, including football, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball, would schedule Conference-only games, and that it is delaying the start of mandatory athletic activities, until a series of health and safety indicators, which have recently trended in a negative direction, provided sufficient positive data to enable a move to a second phase of return-to-play activities.”
It added that it will have another announcement by July 31.
“The Pac-12 has developed a series of potential fall sport scheduling models including Conference-only schedules and delayed season starts.”
Arizona
Arizona State
California
Colorado
Oregon
Oregon State
Southern California
Stanford
UCLA
Utah
Washington
Washington State
PATRIOT (9 schools)
The Patriot announced on July 13 that it will not have a fall season.
Army West Point and Navy have been granted waivers: “Because the United States Military Academy and the United States Naval Academy are unique in their environments and their missions within higher education, the Council of Presidents agree that the academies may continue to engage in competitive opportunities as considered appropriate by their respective Superintendents,” the PL said in its news release.
American
Army West Point
Bucknell
Colgate
Holy Cross
Lafayette
Lehigh
Loyola Maryland
Navy
SOUTHEASTERN (13 schools)
The league on July 14 postponed the start of all fall sports — except football — through at least August 31. Other than, the SEC is waiting.
Alabama
Arkansas
Auburn
Florida
Georgia
Kentucky
LSU
Mississippi State
Missouri
Ole Miss
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas A&M
SOUTHERN (9 schools)
A SoCon spokesperson told VolleyballMag.com on Wednesday, “We haven’t made an announcement about fall sports yet. We could have something late next week.”
Chattanooga
The Citadel
ETSU
Furman
Mercer
Samford
UNC Greensboro
Western Caro.
Wofford
SOUTHLAND (13 schools)
No volleyball or soccer until September 1 and then, the league said, “Southland members will have the discretion to participate in non-conference volleyball and soccer competition prior to the Conference portion of the 2020 schedules.”
A&M-Corpus Christi
Abilene Christian
Central Ark. 
Houston Baptist
Incarnate Word
Lamar University
McNeese
New Orleans
Nicholls State
Northwestern State
Sam Houston State
Southeastern La.
SFA
SOUTHWESTERN (10)
The SWAC postponed all fall sports on July 20 and is planning on a full schedule in the spring.
Alabama A&M
Alabama State
Alcorn
Ark.-Pine Bluff
Grambling
Jackson State
Mississippi Val.
Prairie View
Southern U.
Texas Southern
SUMMIT (9 schools)
No fall sports until September 23.
“The delay will result in a conference-only schedule for the sports of women’s soccer, men’s soccer and volleyball. Competitive schedule for men’s and women’s cross country and non-championship segments for men’s and women’s golf and men’s and women’s tennis will also be delayed until September 23, as will the non-traditional seasons for baseball and softball.”
Denver
North Dakota
North Dakota State
Omaha
Oral Roberts
Purdue Fort Wayne 
South Dakota
South Dakota State
Western Ill.
SUN BELT (12 schools)
The Sun Belt is holding off until September 3.
“The rescheduling of contests due to these adjustments will be determined by each member institution,” the league said.
Appalachian State
Arkansas State
Coastal Caro.
Ga. Southern
Georgia State
La.-Monroe
Little Rock
Louisiana
South Alabama
UT Arlington
Texas State
Troy
WEST COAST (10 schools)
The WCC announced on July 16 that none of its programs will compete before September 24.
“This decision includes the traditional fall seasons in men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball,” the league said. “Baseball, beach volleyball, men’s and women’s golf, women’s rowing, softball and men’s and women’s tennis, which hold their traditional seasons in the spring, will not participate in a fall competition scheduled prior to Sept. 24. The men’s and women’s basketball competition seasons, scheduled to begin Nov. 10, are not impacted by this decision. This does not apply to sports which are not sponsored by the WCC, including the Brigham Young University and University of San Diego football competition seasons.”
BYU
Gonzaga
Loyola Marymount
Pacific
Pepperdine
Portland
Saint Mary’s (CA)
San Diego
San Francisco
Santa Clara
WESTERN ATHLETIC (10 schools)
On July 15, the WAC “postponed the start of the fall season competition to no earlier than September 10 for women’s soccer and September 16 for volleyball and men’s soccer.”
California Baptist
Chicago State
Dixie State
Grand Canyon
Kansas City
New Mexico State
Seattle U
Tarleton State
Utah Valley
UTRGV
Changes in 2019
CSU Bakersfield to the Big West (from the WAC)
UC San Diego added to the Big West (reclassifying from DII)
Merrimack to the Northeast Conference (from NE10, DII)
UMass Lowell (removed from America East)
Robert Morris to the Horizon (from the Northeast)
Savannah State (removed from Mid-Eastern, reclassifying to DII)
Reclassifying teams
Bellarmine – joins Atlantic Sun
North Alabama – joins Atlantic Sun
Dixie State — joins Western Athletic
Tarleton State — joins Western Athletic
Mount St. Mary’s — joins the Northeast
Wagner — joins the Northeast
Changes in 2018
Liberty to Atlantic Sun (from Big South)
North Alabama to Atlantic Sun (reclassifying from DII)
USC Upstate to Big South (from Atlantic Sun)
Hampton to Big South (from MEAC)
North Dakota to Summit (from Big Sky)
Cal Baptist to Western Athletic (reclassifying from DII)

3 COMMENTS

  1. I heard from a reliable source the PAC-12 is going to announce tomorrow (July 31) that volleyball will be in the spring. I don’t know how they can do that without the approval of the NCAA. My guess is the NCAA is ready to announce WVB in the spring.

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