The Big West Conference Board of Directors announced that fall sports competition will not be conducted during the 2020-2021 season in a press release distributed Thursday afternoon.
The conferences’ announced the five sports that will not participate in the fall of 2020 include — women’s indoor volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer, and men’s and women’s cross country.
The Board said the decision came after citing significant health concerns, and the resources required to properly safeguard the health and well-being of all student-athletes.
The press release didn’t address the reason behind the board’s decision to continue winter sports, like men’s and women’s basketball, and discontinue the seasons of five sports that generate significant revenue for the conference.
The Big West will not attempt to push fall sports competitions into the winter or spring months.
Big West Commissioner Dan Butterly said the decision to suspend the fall activities was a difficult one.
“Protecting the health and safety of our student-athletes and following public health guidelines are our top priorities,” Butterly said. “Despite a strong desire to return our fall sport student-athletes to competition, the Board unanimously agreed that the resources and protocols needed to safely and equitably conduct fall, winter and spring sports seasons concurrently was not in line with those priorities nor in the best interests of our student-athletes and coaches.”
The Big West Conference was formed in 1969 and is a member of NCAA Division I with 11 academically and athletically prominent institutions consisting of Cal Poly, CSU Bakersfield, Cal State Fullerton, CSUN, Hawai‘i, Long Beach State, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, and UC Santa Barbara. The conference sponsors 18 sports at the NCAA Division I level baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s track and field, men’s and women’s volleyball, softball, women’s beach volleyball, and women’s water polo.