UNO athletics fans who were hoping to see a Maverick team in action for the first time since March of 2019 will have to wait a little longer.
The Summit League announced on July 28 that they will be delaying the start of the fall sports season for all participating conference schools. This decision was made as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Should fall sports end up taking place at all this season, they will have a different look than in years past. Part of the decision from the Summit League was to cancel all non-conference games for men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball. Those seasons will move to conference only play this year.
“With other conferences postponing or shortening their fall seasons, our ability to host non-conference games in soccer and volleyball was proving to be difficult,” said UNO Athletic Director Trev Alberts in a statement regarding the Summit League’s decision.
Many collegiate athletic conferences across the country have been making their own independent decision on how to proceed with fall sports. Many of these conferences have differing plans on how to deal with playing sports while addressing the dangers that COVID-19 presents.
Some conferences, such as the Ivy League, have already made the decision to forgo sports in the fall entirely. Others, such as the Big East, decided to move their fall sports to conference only play.
What the season will look like for soccer and volleyball remains unknown. Both women’s soccer and volleyball have nine Summit League teams to compete against in the conference, while men’s soccer only has five teams in total. A conference-only schedule could see a men’s soccer season where only four total games are played.
Outside of soccer and volleyball, cross country and the non-championship portion of the Summit League tennis will also see some changes. No news has yet been announced on whether or not these teams will have a non-conference season, but their seasons have been delayed until Sept. 23. This move was made in the interest of helping student athletes.
“In the end, it was decided that it was in the best interests of our students to allow everyone to return to campus and adjust to life with the pandemic as a collective group, before we begin competing,” said Alberts.
Officials from the Summit League will continue to meet and discuss how to best proceed with sports in the fall, while still keeping the health and safety of the athletes as their main concern.