Mount Union Athletics - COVID-19 Updates

Mount Union Athletics - COVID-19 Updates

** This page will be updated as needed also please go to Mount Union's Fall 2020 Responsible Reopening website for information

The University of Mount Union is planning for student-athletes to participate in the 2020-2021 athletic year in adherence to Responsible RestartOhio, and under the guidance of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) recommendations.

  • On July 24, 2020, the Presidents Council of the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) postponed all NCAA intercollegiate athletics competition through December 31, 2020 amidst continued concerns about COVID-19.
  • The OAC is committed to moving NCAA intercollegiate competition to the spring, with various models being currently discussed.

"This decision is very difficult, as we know how deep the desire to compete is with our student-athletes and that intercollegiate athletic events are an important part of not only life on campus but for our extended community of alumni and fans," said Dr. Thomas Botzman, University of Mount Union President. "However, all of us at Mount Union are confident that our coaches, faculty, and staff will work with student-athletes to build an engaging athletic experience in the Fall and into the Spring semester as circumstances allow."

  • While competition will not occur in Fall 2020, the OAC is planning a robust engagement of student-athletes during the fall semester with conditioning and preparation for competition according to CDC guidelines and NCAA criteria in conjunction with local health guidelines.
  • The fall sports that have intercollegiate competition postponed include cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis and volleyball.  The winter-season sports of basketball, indoor track and field, swimming and diving, and wrestling will also have intercollegiate competition postponed during the 2020 calendar year, with plans to resume in January 2021.

Fall sport student-athletes will be contacted by their coaches about returning to campus and it is recommended and requested that student-athletes practice shelter-in-place and self-quarantine for two weeks prior to your arrival on campus. Upon arrival on campus, student-athletes can begin following the NCAA Resocialization Guidelines.

In order to accommodate new and returning student-athletes, the University has extended an option for early on-campus physicals by appointment during the months of July and August. The Purple Raider athletic training staff will be offering telemedicine options once classes start, and all in-person evaluations and treatments during the daytime will be by appointment.

Updates and additional sport-specific information will be provided to Mount Union student-athletes by their head coach. 

For questions contact the Office of Athletics at (330) 823-4840 or email parnelmi@mountunion.edu

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Will fall student-athletes be able to compete in the spring?

The NCAA recently made a decision to permit 2020 fall sports to play in the spring of 2021.  The OAC is considering various models that would provide competition in the spring for fall-sport student-athletes.

  1. How does this decision affect the 18 or 19 week seasons as well as traditional and non-traditional seasons?

For the 2020-21 year only, the traditional and non-traditional weeks have been replaced with 114 days to be used the way each institution wishes to use them. The 114 days represents 19 weeks of six days (factoring a day off each week).  

  1. Does the 114-day rule apply to teams or individual student-athletes?

It applies to teams, and keep in mind that if any individual student-athlete engages in athletically-related activity, the entire team uses one of its 114 days.

  1. Will any activities other than competition be allowable in the OAC during the fall?

Yes, the Conference plans to use much of its 114-day allotment for a robust fall season that will keep student-athletes engaged and prepared for spring competition. Current guidelines and strategies are being explored.

  1. Will student-athletes exhaust a season of competition during the fall?

No, until there is competition, a season is not exhausted. Since there will be no OAC competition in the fall, there will be no season of competition exhausted. 

  1. Do NCAA Resocialization principles need to be followed?

Yes, and if "athletically-related activities" as defined by the NCAA are a part of the resocialization, it must count as one of the 114 days.

  1. If a team begins to compete in 2021 and then needs to stop due to the virus, or schedules are reduced due to resocializations and season push-backs, will the student-athletes lose a season of participation?

If a team does not exceed half of its allowable maximum contests or dates due to Covid, those eligible student-athletes will not burn a season of competition.  The NCAA made this exception for this year only. This number includes OAC and NCAA post-season. You can view each sport on the attachment (note that the NCAA is still deliberating dates of competition compared to contests).

  1. If the above-mentioned 50 percent waiver comes into play, do the students retain their lost semester(s)?

If a team does not exceed half of its allowable maximum contest dates due to COVID, those eligible student-athletes will be awarded two additional semesters to their 10-semester limit.

  1. Due to the virus, has the NCAA reduced the minimum contests or dates required for a team to compete in order to qualify for the NCAA postseason?

Yes, the NCAA has reduced the standard minimums by one third. You can view each sport on the attachment.

  1. Will the NCAA conduct fall championships?

The NCAA Board of Governors will meet very soon to decide this matter. They will take into account the many conferences like the OAC who have decided to suspend fall competition.

  1. Now that we are using 114 days instead of "weeks," must we give our student-athletes one day off per week still?

Yes, and keep in mind that if you have multiple-sport athletes, you must still give every student-athlete one day off per week.

  1. Can any competition take place this fall between or among OAC schools?

Not formal in person competition that we have conducted for the last 118 years, but OAC coaching groups are urged to communicate and think of creative ways to conduct virtual competitions that would be fun for the student-athlete and keep us all engaged and connected. You can use your 114-day year to video student-athletes running, throwing, jumping, hitting, shooting, kicking, serving, etc. and issue challenges and competition on-line.

Spring sport team and individual statistics will count

The statistics that your team and individuals have for the 2020 spring season will still be counted toward career statistics and coaching records.

Student-athlete seasons of participation and eligibility.  Approved a blanket waiver for all student-athletes participating in spring sports as follows:

(a) Waive the use of a season of participation for all student-athletes in spring sports.  If an institution continues or re-starts its season, this relief would still exist; and

(b) Waive the use of the spring semester towards their limit of 10 semesters/15 quarters, regardless of whether they used a season.  

NCAA Cancels all Winter and Spring Championships

The NCAA has canceled all Winter and Spring Championship events. NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors canceled the Division I men's and women's 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships. This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities. 

Ohio Athletic Conference Cancels Spring Sports Season

In an effort to protect the health and safety of all of our students and the communities we serve, the Presidents Council of the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) has voted to cancel all 2020 spring sports seasons, effective March 16 through the remainder of the academic year. This includes all athletically-related activities as defined by the NCAA. In addition, all meetings, practices and other off-season activities for other sports have also been cancelled.

While we recognize the profound disappointment that will be felt by the many student-athletes, parents, fans and coaches, the ongoing spread and uncertainty of COVID-19 have made the continuation of athletic activities untenable.

The OAC deeply regrets having to cancel the Clyde Lamb Awards Banquet scheduled for May.

For more information and updates please go to http://www.mountunion.edu/covid-19