Newman University athletics will be on hold until Aug. 31, the date the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) has designated official practices can begin.
The MIAA announced in late July that they would postpone all athletic-related events due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, keeping the safety of student-athletes and coaching staff in mind. Official competitions are currently set to resume Sept. 28.
Volleyball and women’s soccer will be the first MIAA teams affected by the change, missing 12 and six matches respectively. Men’s soccer competes in the Great American Conference; that conference has also chosen to postpone using the same dates as MIAA and will also miss scheduled matches.
The other MIAA sports impacted are cross country, golf and tennis. Club sports, triathlon and bowling will see changes in their schedule as well. Currently, winter sports are not affected.
Student-athletes are usually the first to arrive on campus, usually a week prior to the semester move-in date, but with the MIAA announcement, most student-athletes will arrive on campus with non-athletes.
Athletic Director Joann Pryor said coaches and student-athletes are preparing for a season like no other they have seen.
“Coaches are hanging in there and ready to do anything they can to help students adapt. Each team will be adjusting their preseason workouts around classes since they are starting so late in the season,” said Pryor. “Students are really hoping for a sense of normalcy once the season gets started but we aren’t sure how close we’ll get. We are still waiting to hear a final determination on whether or not we can allow fans to attend games.”
The MIAA commented on the changes saying, “The health and well-being of student-athletes, coaches, administrators and communities in the MIAA continues to be the top priority. The MIAA is taking these unprecedented actions to help our campuses and communities continue to address this public health crisis.”
Pryor added the importance of remaining flexible and going into the season with open minds.
“We will have to be ready for anything and we will do whatever it takes to make this year a good experience for the student-athletes.”