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Great Northwest Athletic Conference cancels remaining competitions, championships

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Posted at 8:21 PM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 12:55:01-04

(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)

PORTLAND, Ore. – The CEO Board of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference announced today that it is canceling all athletic competition, including conference championships, for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year. Last week, the Board announced an indefinite suspension of spring conference competitions and GNAC championship events.

The unanimous decision, reached in consultation with the conference's 11 member institutions, including MSU Billings, was made to protect the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches, staff members and fans while working to minimize the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus. The cancellation includes competitions in both championship and non-championship segments. The GNAC decision aligns with that of the NCAA, which has canceled all spring championships.

In addition to the cancellation of all remaining competitions, the conference is suspending all countable athletics-related activities through June 30.

"Our greatest concern is for the health and welfare of everyone within the GNAC as well as that of the communities that our institutions are a part of," said GNAC commissioner Dave Haglund. "This was not an easy decision, but with the continuously changing nature of the pandemic, it is the right decision to protect the health of everyone involved. We feel bad for our student-athletes who are seeing their seasons, and in some cases their athletic careers, come to an abrupt halt. Their hard work and sacrifice inspire us all."

This past Friday, the NCAA Division II Administrative Committee adopted emergency legislation to allow institutions to self-apply for season-of-competition waivers for student-athletes whose 2019-20 spring seasons were canceled.