Midwest Conference suspends competition for rest of 2020
The Midwest Conference (MWC), of which Ripon College is a member, announced today that it will suspend league competition through Dec. 31 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The presidents of the 10 member institutions made the decision in coordination with representative athletic directors in order to protect the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches, staff and administration, their families, and broader campus and local communities. The MWC joins a growing number of NCAA Division III schools that have suspended fall and winter sports.
“For many of our students, athletics is an important part of the Ripon experience,” said President Zach Messitte, who is also the Chair of the Presidents’ Council of the Midwest Conference this year. “Our first priority must be the health and safety of our student-athletes and I am confident that coaches and staff will do whatever is necessary to create a meaningful experience for our student-athletes.”
Ryan Kane, athletic director and head coach of men’s basketball, said, “Our athletics staff will shift its focus and energies toward building an experience that will still provide our student-athletes the physical and mental challenges they desire. We are committed to working with our student-athletes to define a ‘meaningful experience’ and working with each team to execute that experience.”
MWC Executive Director Heather Benning says, “We did everything we could over the past couple of months to develop schedules, event management protocols, and testing policies so that we could compete this fall. However, due to the recent sustained surge of cases across the country, and a lack of guaranteed access to timely and reliable testing with the frequency recommended by the NCAA, the conference does not feel it is in a position to sponsor intercollegiate athletic competition at this time.”
The MWC remains focused on providing meaningful experiences for all student-athletes in 2020-2021. Member institutions are committed to providing engaging and significant team experiences for their student-athletes, which could include opportunities for practice, small-group training, skill development, and/or strength & conditioning. Engagement in limited non-conference competition remains at the discretion of individual institutions.
The MWC will continue to monitor those factors impacting the decision for suspension of the fall and winter sports seasons, and take action to resume athletic competition when it is deemed safe to do so.