KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The NAIA announced on Thursday that effective immediately, it will be cancelling all remaining winter championship events, including those that are currently underway.
“The health and safety of our student-athletes, as well as all involved in our championship events, is the NAIA’s highest priority. We will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments and NAIA leadership will work closely with our member institutions to determine the best path forward for future NAIA events, including all spring 2020 championships.”
Less than 16 hours prior, Shawnee State University men’s and women’s basketball teams were seeded to the NAIA Division-I national tournament.
SSU said the following in a release: “The NAIA came out with its announcement Thursday afternoon regarding the cancellation of the NAIA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships.”
Additionally, Shawnee State announced that contests against all outside competition will be suspended through March.
“While this situation is less than ideal for our winter and spring sports student-athletes, we are extremely proud of the fight that they have displayed and continued to show through the difficult set of circumstances that arose.
From what our women’s basketball program has accomplished in winning its fifth Mid-South Conference Championship in six seasons, to the men’s basketball program and what they accomplished by winning more than 20 games for the first time in 17 years and obtaining the program’s first-ever NAIA bid as a whole, and to what our baseball and softball programs have attempted to do during their seasons so far, we greatly appreciate our student-athletes and coaches for their efforts.
We understand that the decisions were not made lightly, and support those as we keep the safety of our students and student-athletes above all else. We are continually monitoring the situation as we provide it. Look for daily updates regarding COVID-19.”