As of Thursday, Mar. 12, NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors have canceled all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships effective immediately. This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, the NCAA’s ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities.
This, of course, marked an abrupt end to the illustrious career of Grand Valley State University’s women’s basketball’s senior class. Seniors Cassidy Boensch, Jenn DeBoer, Maddie Dailey, Victoria Hedemark, Jenai LaPorte, Meghan Belke, and grad transfer Taryn Taugher played their final game against Ashland University on Sunday, Mar. 8 and registered their last win, a program record 107th victory, against Wayne State the previous day on Mar. 7.
The Lakers could have added on to their career record in wins against first round opponent and conference rival, Ferris State, in the first round of the Midwest Regional in the NCAA tournament last Friday, Mar. 13. But ultimately, the opportunity to earn their 108th win and tie GVSU’s highest win total in the last four years (29) was rescinded in hopes of putting the athletes’ and fans’ health and safety first.
In addition to the cancellation of the 2020 winter championships, the NCAA has also canceled its 2020 spring championship slate as well. Upon the announcement by the NCAA, GVSU also canceled the entirety of its spring sports schedule due to rising concerns surrounding the spread of the COVID-19. The announcement came unilaterally with the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, who in consultation with the Council of Presidents and athletic directors, also canceled all athletically-related activity through May 31, 2020. During this unprecedented world-wide fight against the COVID-19 threat, the GLIAC stated that they support national and NCAA efforts to protect student-athletes, coaches, fans and communities.
GVSU’s spring sports include baseball, softball, men’s and women’s track and field, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s and women’s Lacrosse.
This cancellation runs parallel with numerous other professional and collegiate sports cancellations and suspensions taking place across the country as the United States continues to try to stymie the spread of COVID-19. The GVSU athletic department will seek to reassess conditions surrounding the Coronavirus outbreak after May 31 and whether or not they will make any further cancellations in regards to athletic competitions in the near future.
Stay tuned to gvsulakers.com and lanthorn.com/category/sports/ for future updates regarding the state of GVSU athletics during the COVID-19 outbreak.