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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
St. John’s (NY)
BIG SKY (11 schools)
The Big Sky will also start Olympic sports no earlier than September 18. No word yet on football.
BIG SOUTH (10 schools)
The league said it will start fall sports on September 3.
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.”
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.
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 San Diego
UC Santa Barbara
Cal State Bakersfield
Cal State Fullerton
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
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.
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.”
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.”
MID-AMERICAN (12 schools)
The two-division volleyball league on July 16 postponed its Olympic sports until September 3.
MID-EASTERN (11 schools)
The MEAC canceled fall sports July 16 and is hoping to play in the spring.
South Carolina State
(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.”
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
San Diego State
San Jose State
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.”
Central Connecticut State
Mount St. Mary’s
St. Francis Brooklyn
Saint Francis (PA)
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.
Southeast Mo. State
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.”
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.
Army West Point
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.”
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.”
Central Ark. Houston Baptist
Sam Houston State
SOUTHWESTERN (10) The SWAC postponed all fall sports on July 20 and is planning on a full schedule in the spring.
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.”
North Dakota State
Purdue Fort Wayne South Dakota
South Dakota State
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.
South Alabama UT Arlington
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.”
Saint Mary’s (CA)
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.”
New Mexico State
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)
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)