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The North Coast Athletic Conference, which includes Oberlin and Hiram, cancels winter sports

Posted at 5:22 PM, Oct 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-16 17:22:04-04

OBERLIN, Ohio — The North Coast Athletic Conference, a Division III conference whose members include Oberlin College, Hiram College and the College of Wooster, has canceled winter sports competition this year.

The cancellation also includes conference championships.

Men's and women's basketball, men's and women's swimming and diving, and men's and women's indoor track and field are all impacted by the cancellation.

Schools within the conference have been given the opportunity to make individual decisions regarding outside competition during the winter season.

Oberlin College announced that it will not be opting for outside competition but will continue to practice, and some sports, including swimming and diving, will compete virtually, according to the school.

"Our No. 1 priority remains the long-term health and safety of our entire campus community," said Oberlin's Director of Athletics Natalie Winkelfoos. "Unfortunately, there is still much uncertainty around the exposure to COVID-19, even with the vigilant oversight, testing, compliance, and safety protocols we have been following. I, along with our coaching staff and administration, remain committed to providing an engaging student-athlete on-campus experience."

Oberlin College said it will continue to explore all options for a safe return to intercollegiate competition, with the health and safety of students, staff, faculty and the community as the most important concern.

Hiram College said it supports the NCAC decision and will continue to monitor the situation.

"The decisions surrounding athletics during the COVID-19 pandemic are difficult ones, and I know that they greatly impact the lives of our students and their families," said Hiram College President David Haney. "As always, our primary concern is the health and safety of our student-athletes and our entire campus community. For that reason, Hiram College supports this most recent NCAC announcement regarding winter sports. We will continue to monitor the availability of adequate COVID-19 testing for our student-athletes, while also closely watching COVID-19 trends in making our future decision about competition during the winter term."

All NCAC schools have been instructed to not return student-athletes to campus for practices or other activities between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.