NIU Athletics cancels all spring athletic events and activities


Jarrett Huff

In this file photo, Mid-American Conference Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher addresses the media March 12 over the cancelation of the 2020 MAC Basketball Tournaments at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio. The MAC voted Friday to play a six-game schedule, starting Nov. 4.

By Northern Star Staff

Cleveland — Following in the footsteps of the Mid-American Conference, NIU will be canceling all spring sports and non-traditional season competition for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

The decision was made Thursday by the MAC, along with input from the MAC’s council of presidents and athletic directors, following the NCAA’s announcement of the cancellation of all winter and spring championships due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an NIU Athletics news release.

Not only are events like the MAC Women’s Gymnastics Championship that was supposed to occur on March 21 cancelled, but organized practices like spring football and in-person recruiting for all sports have been suspended.

“We are in full support of these steps taken by the MAC,” NIU Athletic Director Sean Frazier said in an NIU Athletics news release. “At this point, the safety and health of our student-athletes, fans and community takes precedence over everything. We know that these unprecedented measures were necessary based on prioritizing the safety and security of all the participants and fans involved. We’re heartbroken for all of our student-athletes, especially our seniors, that their seasons had to end in this way.”

NIU teams affected include baseball, softball, track and field, volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s golf and men’s and women’s soccer, who all either are currently in season or hold off-season competitions.