American Rivers Conference announces decision to postpone fall contact sports

The American Rivers Conference (ARC) has postponed the fall sports seasons of football, volleyball, men’s soccer, and women’s soccer to the spring semester. This is being done in an effort to further protect the health and well-being of students and members of the larger community.

The ARC’s Presidents Council made the decision Monday evening, and affected Buena Vista University students were notified Tuesday morning. The move follows the direction taken by dozens of NCAA member institutions and conferences who have cancelled or postponed intercollegiate competition this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While those contact sports are being suspended, BVU and other schools within the ARC endeavor to proceed with men’s and women’s cross country, golf, and tennis.

“The safety of our students is paramount,” says BVU Interim President Dr. Brian Lenzmeier. “We support the ARC’s decision and believe it’s in the best interest of our student-athletes, their peers, and our staff and faculty.

“With nearly two-thirds of our students being student-athletes, the well-being of our athletes is so closely connected to the health and safety of our entire BVU community,” Lenzmeier adds. “There are still many unknowns associated with the virus, but what we do know is that we will continue to fulfill our mission in providing all students with a quality education in an environment that reduces risk.”

BVU Director of Athletics Jack Denholm notes that coaches will continue to communicate with their Beaver student-athletes in preparation for the upcoming academic year, which include plans to play football, volleyball, and men’s and women’s soccer in the spring.

BVU Athletics will soon explore creative methods of bringing athletes of contact sports together throughout the semester to connect with their teammates and coaches as they continue to hone skills related to leadership, teamwork, and their specific sport.

Much of what happens, Denholm says, depends on our ongoing mitigation efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Naturally, our coaches and student-athletes want to compete and represent BVU on the court and field of play. And while it is difficult in the short term to accept that, playing right now isn’t likely the proper course of action. We realize that postponing contact sports this fall is the right thing to do, and we look forward to supporting our athletes in the coming months in preparation for spring competition.”

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