Wabash Always Fights, but not on the athletic fields this fall. Wednesday afternoon the school announced it was joining the other members of the North Coast Athletic Conference in suspending intercollegiate athletics competition through Dec. 31.
The conference, which had previously been working toward a modified fall schedule built around a health and safety plan developed by the athletic and medical staffs of member schools, was forced to re-evaluate its plan following new guidance released last week by the NCAA.
All of the College’s sports programs will be affected, including those sports with non-traditional fall seasons (golf and tennis) and those not affiliated with the NCAC (wrestling and volleyball).
“This is disappointing news for our student-athletes who have been looking forward to returning to competition as one way to find some normalcy in a world turned upside down,” said Wabash President Scott Feller. “It is also a disappointment to the many people who have invested months of time and effort developing plans for athletic activities to be part of our campus experience this fall.”
Matt Tanney, Director of Athletics and Campus Wellness at Wabash, said that the College and NCAC are committed to providing meaningful virtual and on-campus experiences for student-athletes this fall. In addition, practices, workouts, and training will continue in an adjusted format, details of which will be forthcoming.
“Let's not sugar coat the news – it’s a disappointing day for our scholar-athletes, coaches, and staff,” Tanney said. “Yet, we wholly respect this outcome, given the prioritization of the health and safety of everyone involved in athletics programming. I remain buoyed with optimism for engaging and purposeful opportunities for Wabash scholar-athletes this fall, thanks to a shared commitment among our coaches and NCAC colleagues in delivering a quality athletics experience.”
Wabash offers 13 intercollegiate sports in NCAA Division III. The Little Giants won NCAC titles in football and indoor track and field in 2019-20, while finishing second in basketball and cross country, and third in soccer and swimming. The College’s wrestling team ranked fifth in the nation at the end of the season. When competition was halted in March, Wabash led the NCAC’s men’s all-sports race.
Wabash will welcome the Class of 2024 to campus August 7-8 with classes set to resume on Aug. 12.
“I look forward to the creative ways that we will develop meaningful activities for our student-athletes – indeed, all of our students – this semester,” added President Feller.