Summit League Staying the Course in Wake of Coronavirus (COVID 19)


FARGO (AP) — Saying it’s already a streamlined machine, the Summit League Joint Council this week decided not to change or eliminate any postseason league championships for the upcoming school year. That hasn’t been the case across the country, with leagues like the Mid-American Conference canceling eight of its tournaments. Baseball, for instance, will remain a four-team tourney but was cut down from four days to three. Soccer will stay at a four-team field while volleyball and softball will stay as six-team events. Volleyball and soccer are getting the most current attention since they are played in the fall. Summit League Commissioner Tom Douple did say those sports may see differences in attendance with social distance mandates, mainly volleyball because it is played indoors. The Summit is going to leave any decision to having student-athletes back on campus for summer workouts to each school and their respective states. The Joint Council, which is made up of school athletic directors and senior woman administrators, approved of that philosophy. Douple said the NCAA has also made it clear that any decision to resume offseason workouts will be up to the institution and the state. The Summit is imposing its own cost-cutting measures to try and help member schools. That includes having virtual tournament programs, eliminating on-site media days and pre-tournament banquets, cutting an internship position, making Joint Council and Presidents Council meetings virtual and putting a freeze on salaries. The league may try to disperse more funds from its well-attended men’s and women’s basketball tournaments at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Fall according to Douple.  The University of South Dakota and South Dakota State are members of the Summit League.