The WIAC officially released a statement declaring the spring sports season canceled and practices postponed indefinitely Monday afternoon.
The impact does not end with baseball and softball, which still had WIAC games on the schedule despite NCAA tournaments being canceled. The impact extends to the UW-Whitewater women’s golf team, which had qualified last fall for the NCAA Tournament to be played in May.
The impact also extends to the UW-Whitewater football team that holds spring practices in April. Those are postponed indefinitely.
“Ultimately, it’s indefinite, so we just have to see what time brings,” UW-Whitewater football coach Kevin Bullis said. “A week from today, things could change positive or negative. We’ll have to wait and see.”
The Centers for Disease Control advised waiting eight weeks before having groups of more than 50 people congregating. Eight weeks extends to May 11. As of now, it’s a holding pattern for football and the rest of UW-Whitewater athletics.
The WIAC news release also indefinitely postponed in-person recruiting.
Promptly after the WIAC news release, UW-Whitewater released a statement of its own including comments from UW-Whitewater interim athletic director Ryan Callahan:
“Our department is taking the covid-19 situation very seriously, and we as leaders decided that the health and well-being of those in our campus community comes first,” said Callahan, a Janesville native and resident. “We encourage our student-athletes, coaches and support staff to be safe in the coming months.
“My heart breaks for all of our student-athletes, especially our seniors from fall and winter sports who were not able to close their careers competing for championships, and all our spring teams who are unable to play out their traditional seasons and qualify for individual and team championship events.”
NAHL cancels rest of regular season
The North American Hockey League canceled the rest of its regular season Monday.
Last week, the league, which includes the Janesville Jets, had suspended play.
“We understand that this is a very difficult time for our hockey community and we are working on all options in order to conclude the season with a Robertson Cup Championship,” NAHL commissioner Mark Frankenfeld said in a statement. “We are actively and continuously monitoring a very challenging and fluid environment in order make the right decision everyone involved.”
The Jets were sitting in fifth place, one point out of the fourth and final playoff spot in the Midwest Division, when play was suspended.
Big Eight issues statement
The Big Eight Conference, which includes Janesville Parker and Janesville Craig, issued a statement Monday that passed by unanimous vote.
The statement reaffirmed that while schools and buildings are closed, no practices can be held and students cannot be encouraged to group together or practice.
“A program could be shared for individual training or workouts,” the statement said. “At a minimum, we could return to practices April 6 and Big Eight Conference competitions April 20. School-by-school decisions and nonconference competition expectations may vary. We will support all schools in their local decisions and follow the guidance of the WIAA.”