COVID-19 Update
NAIA members,

I wanted to update you on work that the national office is doing to prepare for the fall 2020 season. Since my emails can get lengthy, I suggest topping off your coffee and getting comfortable.

First off, I want to say thank you. The national office has spent the last few weeks gathering information from our presidents and athletics directors regarding the many factors and scenarios we’ll be facing over the next few months. It is daunting, to say the least. However, the level of insight, compassion, and thoughtfulness provided through these responses has been incredibly reaffirming. While there are differing perspectives, everyone is in agreement to make whatever sacrifices needed to provide our student-athletes the best possible experience while minimizing any health risks.

For those of you who are interested, we will share the feedback from presidents and athletics directors with membership early next week. The response rate was impressive – 57% of presidents and 85% of athletics directors shared their thoughts either by phone call or via the surveys. If you are a president or athletics director who has not had the chance to share your feedback, it’s not too late. For the presidents’ survey, click here and for the athletics directors’ survey, click here.

The feedback has helped clarify our members’ expectations of the national office during this time. Members want an anticipated timeline for decisions, health and safety guidelines, and support in assisting our student-athletes. Work is underway in these areas and the NAIA’s leadership team has dedicated significant time and effort to COVID-19 considerations. A separate Fall 2020 Work Group has been formed to build out the various scenarios over the next few weeks. We will soon begin sharing weekly updates from this Fall 2020 Work Group.

Our goal is to make decisions about the fall no later than July 1. We have to weigh the uncertainty of making decisions early verses providing institutions time to prepare for logistical changes. It’s a delicate balancing act and we are trying to do what’s best for the greater good. Between now and July, the national office will work diligently with membership to outline safety protocols, evaluate how to handle fall season start dates and schedule structure, and consider if postseason adjustments are necessary.

We are still far from knowing what athletics will look like in 2020-21, but it will undoubtedly be different than what we are used to. It will not be easy, but it can be done through all of us working together with dedication, resolve, and flexibility. I’ve always said our members are what makes the NAIA so special and your support and dedication to our student-athletes has never been more evident. Thank you for all you are doing and please continue to share your feedback. We will get through this together.

Be well,