The NCAA Division II President’s Council announced Tuesday that it has adjusted Division II's maximum number of permissible contests in all sports for the 2020-21 academic year.

This action by the NCAA is a response to help Division II schools manage the economic fallout from the COVID-19 Global Health Pandemic. The Council has also approved changes to the division's minimum number of contests that must be completed for postseason selection for the 2020-21 academic year.

The new maximum dates or games for sports fielded by Missouri Southern and/or Pittsburg State: baseball, 40; basketball, 22; cross country, 6; football, 10; golf, 16 (dates combined fall and spring); soccer, 14; softball, 44; track and field, 14 (combined dates for indoor and outdoor seasons); and volleyball, 20.

“As a student-athlete, it is not easy to accept that I will be playing a shorter season," Mackenzie O'Neill, Missouri Western women's soccer player and the MIAA's National SAAC Representative, said in a release. "However, I know that the NCAA and MIAA put student-athletes first, and I understand that cutting the maximums will help more institutions to stay open and athletic programs to compete equitably.

“These are unprecedented and challenging times, and this season is going to look different. I trust the MIAA will adjust to this adversity as we have from the beginning and continue to uphold a high level of competition throughout the conference.“

With these changes set for Division II, the MIAA’s scheduling subcommittee will review MIAA schedules for the upcoming academic year and make modifications where necessary to comply with the new requirements. The scheduling subcommittee is composed of an administrator from each MIAA member school. The scheduling subcommittee will make its recommendations in the next few weeks, and the hope is the adjustments will be approved by the MIAA CEO Council when it meets by videoconference on June 15.

"I applaud the NCAA for this quick action to help schools address the disruption and budget shortfalls occurring in higher education," MIAA Commissioner Mike Racy said. "As state tax revenues continue to decline and state expenses continue to increase and higher education appropriations in each state continue to shrink, these NCAA reductions in every Division II sport will assist MIAA athletics departments as they make adjustments to their 2020-21 budgets."

The emergency one-year recommendations from the President’s Council are focused on cost savings, reducing athletics operating costs as a result of COVID-19 compliance, and preserving fair and equitable standards for Division II championships' selection and competition.

The Presidents Council said: "NCAA Division II conferences and institutions have acknowledged through survey feedback on contest reductions that COVID-19 has presented us with financial challenges that we are proactively addressing together. In that spirit, and as a result of the governance structure’s decision to reduce contest maximums, thus affecting current schedules, we strongly encourage all member institutions and conferences to work cooperatively and collegially when adjusting schedules. Please keep in mind the purpose behind these actions is to assist all institutions with short-term financial concerns so that we may emerge stronger as a membership and division."

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