MIAC postpones several fall sports, including football, to spring of 2021 due to COVID-19

St. Thomas quarterback Tommy Dolan stands behind a row of blockers as he pulls back for a short throw to the flat. Dolan threw for two TDs off only 15 attempts as his running backs dominated the game.

The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced on Tuesday it’s postponing several fall sports until the spring of 2021 due to concerns with the Covid-19 pandemic.

The sports affected include football, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball. MIAC officials said low-risk sports, such as men’s and women’s golf and tennis, will be permitted to have fall seasons as they are low-risk for Covid-19, but must abide by all local Coronavirus guidelines.

"Our number one priority is the health and safety of students and staff," said Paul Pribbenow, chair of the MIAC Presidents' Council and Augsburg University president. "The decision to postpone competition for many of our fall sports was very difficult, as we know how much our student-athletes want to compete and how important athletics are to each of our campuses, but we need to put ourselves in a position to return to play as safely as possible."

The biggest event impacted by the decision is the St. Thomas vs. St. John’s rivalry football game. It was scheduled for mid-November at U.S. Bank Stadium, but now will have to be rescheduled. The last two years, the rivalry game has been played at Allianz Field in St. Paul, and Target Field in Minneapolis.

St. Thomas recently received NCAA approval to move up to Division I starting in the 2020-21 academic year, so it remains to be seen if the Tommies and Johnnies will square off one last time in the spring. St. Thomas will join the FCS Pioneer League for football next fall.

The MIAC announced earlier this month that all non-conference events in the fall are canceled to limit the potential risk and spread of Covid-19.

Training, practice and team activities for fall sports can continue in accordance with NCAA Division III, state and NCAA health guidelines as they pertain to Covid-19.

Carleton College had already announced it wouldn’t have fall sports before the MIAC’s announcement on Tuesday. Other leagues across the country have also either canceled fall sports, or postponed them until the spring of 2021.