VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Virginia Wesleyan University's athletic league, the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC), voted to postpone conference competition and championships for fall and winter sports through the end of the 2020 calendar year (December 31). According to a release, the ODAC remains focused on providing meaningful competition for all student-athletes in 2020-21, which includes an intention to sponsor conference competition for fall and winter sports in the spring semester.
“The ODAC is one of the nation’s premiere Division III athletic conferences precisely because of our long-standing commitment to the student-athlete experience at all of our institutions,” expressed Dr. David Bushman, President at Bridgewater College and chair of the ODAC Presidents Council. “In light of the broader public health concerns surrounding athletic competitions, the well-being of our campuses and everyone involved in athletic competition made this decision the right one. We have great athletic department leadership across the conference and a superb conference staff and we are all committed to hosting meaningful competition as soon as it is safe to do so.”
To help the ODAC and its member schools provide their student-athletes with the most complete athletic experience possible, NCAA Division III is considering a blanket waiver that would provide unprecedented scheduling flexibility. The scheduling change would supply all conference sports with more time for individual and team skill instruction, strength and conditioning, leadership development, and other athletically-related activities during the academic year as health and safety conditions allow.
"It is with the ultimate health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, support staff and our community at the forefront, that Virginia Wesleyan University athletics will follow the ODAC President's and Athletic Board of Directors decision to postpone conference competition and championships for fall and winter sports through the end of the 2020 calendar year (December 31)," Virginia Wesleyan said in a release posted to its website. "It is our hope and intention, that if conditions safely permit it, we will compete in all sports after the new year. Evaluation of the ever-changing health and safety climate will be ongoing and communication related to changes will be forthcoming, when appropriate."