A heartbreaking blow for fall student-athletes was announced Thursday evening.
In a video posted from the NCAA Twitter account, NCAA President Mark Emmert announced that there will be no official fall national championship events for any sports, not including FBS football since the NCAA does not govern the sport.
“We cannot, at this point, have fall NCAA championships because there’s not enough schools participating,” Emmert said in the video. "The Board of Governors also said, 'Look, if you don't have half of the schools playing a sport, it can't have a legitimate championship.'"
This decision comes in the wake of the MAC, Pac-12, Big Ten, Mountain West Conference and others all suspending their fall sports seasons, and eight days after the Division II Presidents Council and Division III Presidents Council canceled their respective fall championships.
Duke's men's and women's cross country, men's and women's soccer, field hockey and volleyball teams are all affected. They will still be able to compete in regular-season contests and potentially conference championships, but will not have a shot at a national title in the fall.
The Tampa Bay Times' Matt Baker did report Florida State Athletic Director David Coburn saying Thursday that they "have some options" if the NCAA did end up canceling its fall championships.
Emmert alluded to the potential of having NCAA-sponsored championship events for these fall sports in the winter or spring if the array of concerns caused by COVID-19 is quelled by then. The idea of “bubbles or semi-bubble models” in “predetermined sites” was floated out by Emmert as a way to carry out such championships.
The NCAA president made it clear that precedence would be given to winter and spring sports, however, because they all had their championships cancelled last season due to the pandemic.
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Yahoo!'s Pete Thamel reported later Thursday evening that nothing new came from the ACC presidents' scheduled meeting Thursday, saying that they are "staying the course and continuing to seek medical advice."