LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Lubbock Christian University has learned that the NCAA Division II President's Council lowered the maximum number of games for the 2020-21 season as a result of the financial impact of COVID-19.
That means basketball will not play 28 games, but only 22. The news was disappointing to LCU Men's basketball Coach Todd Duncan.
"There are some schools across the country that are being affected by this and we have sympathy for them. That's where the minimum is being reduced, but we felt like it shouldn't be a one size fits all. We feel like they'll play our Conference schedule. That's 21 games. We may have to find one non-conference game."
It’s a double whammy for the students, who had their athletic seasons cut short from basketball to all the spring sports and now the 2020-21 athletic season is affected as well.
"I just hate it for the kids. Some of them had their postseasons pulled in the spring. It's the middle of May and we all hope for a brighter future and none of us know what that future looks like so let's just give it some time. We did all we could We fought it. The student athletic committee fought it. These kids are just ready for some good news."
Among the changes and these are just for NCAA DII, not D1 or DIII: Basketball goes from 28 to 22, Baseball goes from 50 to 40, softball 56 to 44, football 11 to 10, Track & Field (indoor & outdoor) 18 to 14, Volleyball 26 to 20 and Men's and women's soccer 18 to 14.
LCU Lady Chap Ashton Duncan says the news decreasing games was tough to take.
"We were all pretty disappointed. I was a little sad when I first heard about it because we got cut short last year and this year, I'll be a Senior. We have five Seniors on the team. We've all worked really hard and not getting that opportunity is pretty sad. The Lord knows already. We're just going to figure out how to make the best of it.
Students at several schools started a We want to play petition that had almost 11,000 signatures.
LCU Director of Athletics Scott Larson says the University will rolls with the punches and do the best they can for their student-athletes.
"We continue to play by the rules of the NCAA and try to give our student athletes the most and best experience we possibly can."
These new maximums are only for the upcoming school year.
The NCAA Division II President's Council also set minimums to be eligible for postseason play. For men's and women's basketball it's 15.
The President's Council issued the following statement to encourage the Division II membership to work together to reduce contests to meet the new maximums for the 2020-21 academic year.
"NCAA Division II conferences and institutions have acknowledged through survey feedback on contests 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 when adjusting schedules. Please keep in mind the purpose behind these actions is to assist all institutions with short-term financial concerns so we may emerge even stronger as a membership and division.
COVID Concerns change week to week so hopefully these sports will get to play games when the time comes.