WICHITA, KAN. – The Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) announced today its intention to resume play this fall according to the guidelines established by the NAIA Council of Presidents (NAIA-COP) and sustained by the KCAC Board of Presidents to use conference autonomy in making this decision.
“It is in our best interest to work together as 13 like-minded members to address the uncertainty in the intercollegiate athletics world currently,” stated Dr. Scott Crawford, KCAC Commissioner. He added, “The conference has monitored the COVID-19 situation continually since the cancellation of Winter 2020 championships as well as the suspension of the Spring 2020 regular season and postseason. We believe the time is right to return to play this fall, albeit in this altered timeframe. We will continue to take all necessary steps to protect everyone in the game environment and adhere to all safety measures required by state and local governments within the four-state region comprising the conference.”
The KCAC appreciates the conference autonomy granted by the NAIA-COP decision and intends to compete this fall under the approved policies and procedures for the 2020-21 school year. Member schools may begin practice on Saturday, August 15 with all athletics contests beginning no sooner than Saturday, Sept. 5 for all sports except for football. Football games will begin no sooner than Saturday, Sept. 12.
“KCAC student-athletes deserve to know how committed we are to their mental health, safety, and overall well being as we support them as individuals in their respective sports and on the teams they represent,” indicated Dr. Scott Rich, Chair of the KCAC Board of Presidents and President/CEO of Sterling College. He added, “The conference schools in the KCAC will provide robust competition and go out of our way to help KCAC student-athletes excel in their sports, academic pursuits, and personal growth.”
The KCAC Return to Play Task Force comprised of a select group of Presidents, Athletics Directors, and Athletics Trainers from member schools have met weekly since late spring to prepare conference member schools and game officials for returning to competition this fall safely. The task force’s main objective has been to ensure the health and well being of all participants in the game environment including, but not limited to student-athletes, coaches, game day staff, officials and referees, and fans.
By the start of fall practice, the KCAC will release sport-specific guidelines addressing safety in the competitive environment for all fall sports. Other important information including updated sports schedules will also be released by August 15. The conference will continue to evaluate the need to make necessary changes and will do it in a timely manner.
At this time, the conference is releasing the following document the Fall 2020 Guidelines for Return to Campus, Sport, and Conference Competition which was prepared by the KCAC Return to Play Task Force and approved unanimously by the KCAC Board of Presidents. This document address the fundamental standards and safety practices to be followed by all 13 member schools as their student-athletes return to campus and prepare to begin their fall season of competition.