The NCAA Division II Management Council on Friday voted to recommend the Division II Presidents Council reduce the maximum number of permissible contests for the 2020-21 academic year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each sport’s reduction in the recommendation varies. The Presidents Council, which meets by videoconference Tuesday, will consider the recommendation and make the final decision.

The Management Council also voted to recommend the Presidents Council take action to reduce the minimum number of contests for Division II championships selection for the upcoming year.

All of the Management Council’s recommendations from its videoconference meeting came after considering feedback from several leadership groups, Division II governance committees and two surveys of the division’s leadership.

In April, the Division II Conference Commissioners Association conducted a survey in which nearly 95% of the division’s athletics directors participated. From the survey, the Division II CCA put forward the initial proposal to reduce minimums and maximums.

The Management Council also considered the results of a Division II membership survey, specific to reducing maximums, that 435 division leaders responded to earlier this week. The survey was taken by 258 athletics directors, 154 presidents and chancellors, and 23 conference commissioners. Roughly 85% of the survey respondents said they supported some form of reduction to the maximum permissible contests for the 2020-21 academic year.

“These decisions are extremely difficult to make, but the feedback from across Division II and our committees was vital in guiding the Management Council,” said Chris Graham, commissioner of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and chair of the Management Council. “As many schools face financial struggles, and some have started to cut sports entirely due to COVID-19, it was imperative to provide scheduling flexibility in Division II while maintaining competitive equity and continuing to give student-athletes the opportunities they deserve to compete in NCAA championships.”

The Management Council voted to recommend that men’s and women’s basketball teams may not exempt two contests played as part of a conference challenge event or games played in the Tip-Off Classic for the 2020-21 academic year.

Additionally, the Management Council voted to recommend discretionary exemptions, such as scrimmages and exhibitions, against non-Division II four-year schools remain exempt against maximum contest totals.

Shorter seasons

Sport-by-sport recommended maximum games for Missouri Southern programs for the 2020-21 academic year:

Baseball: 40

Basketball: 22

Cross country: 6

Football: 10

Golf: 16

Soccer: 14

Softball: 44

Indoor track and field: 14

Outdoor track and field: 14

Volleyball: 20

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