MIAA to modify schedules following NCAA decision to reduce games for 2020-2021
The MIAA football season will be reduced from 11 games to 10.
NCAA Division II has reduced the maximum amount of contests for all sports for the 2020-2021 academic year in an effort to help schools manage the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
That means smaller schedules for all programs in the MIAA.
“We’re making changes,” says MIAA Commissioner Mike Racy, “Our coaches and our student-athletes are impacted by this next year. We won’t be taking as many trips. Each of our budgets will be smaller.”
Schools are facing limited budgets and potential added expenses due to the pandemic.
“I mean we know we’re going to need more signage for facilities,” Pitt State Athletic Director Jim Johnson says of potential added expenses, “We may have to do COVID testing on student athletes on a daily or weekly basis. We may have to do temperature checks when fans come to games. Who knows?”
Johnson also added that social distancing rules may cause schools to take more buses to away games and have to purchase more hotel rooms.
The MIAA football season will be reduced from 11 games down to 10.
“If that was a road game that you lose, that’s a significant savings for travel cost,” Johnson says of losing a football game, “If that’s a home game, that’s not as much because that’s some lost revenue also.”
“If that number would have landed on 9, we would have some communities in the MIAA that would only have four home dates,” Racy adds, “In the MIAA, we realize how big football is, and how big it is not just for campus, but how big a day it is for the shops and restaurants and businesses in each of our communities. Having five home games is a big part of what we have to figure out now.”
For MIAA sports such as volleyball and basketball, the new maximum number of games matches the number of league games they were scheduled to play.
That could potentially lead to a closed conference schedule in both sports.
“There’s no room for error,” Missouri Southern men’s basketball head coach Jeff Boschee says on potentially facing a closed MIAA schedule, “If our first game we’re playing a conference game, it makes it extremely tough. I think every coach would say that.”
“We look at those 22 regular season games (for basketball), should those all be conference games, or should we reduce that back to 20 and leave a couple non-conference opportunities on the schedule?” Racy says of one of the choices the league will have to make, “So we’ve got some tough decisions that we need to make in the next few days.”
The reduction in games will only be in effect for one season, with the hope that schedules will return to normal the next academic year in 2021-2022.
“Next year is going to be different. It’s just going to be different,” Racy finishes, “These changes the NCAA announced are for one year. They’re emergency actions.”
“We’re an integral part of the campus like any other department,” Johnson adds, “We want to do our part to get through the next academic year. It’s going to be challenging for everybody.”
The MIAA hopes to have its schedule changes approved by June 15th.