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WIAC cancels majority of fall sports seasons

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Madison (WQOW) - The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced Monday it will not have sports this fall.

The conference seasons and championships for football, women's soccer, women's volleyball and men's and women's cross country are canceled for the 2020-21 academic year.

The WIAC seasons and championships for women's tennis and women's golf will be suspended for the 2020-21 fall term and resume in the spring.

UW-Stout Athletic Director Duey Naatz said the statement indicates schools can schedule outside competition.

Specifically, the WIAC statement reads "any practice opportunities or competitions must be conducted in accordance with NCAA resocialization guidelines in effect at that time in addition to any mandated restrictions imposed by local, county or campus entities."

The WIAC said details about the winter sports season will be determined at a later date.

UW-Stout head football coach Clayt Birmingham said he learned about the WIAC's decision at about 5:20 p.m. from Duey Naatz, the Blue Devils director of athletics.

Naatz notified his players soon after via email, and spent time Monday evening calling some of them. A team Zoom meeting is scheduled for Tuesday.

"It was basically left up in the chancellors' hands. They have to deal with a lot of things we don't even know about," Birmingham said. "We have to trust them they made the right decision."

Birmingham said he will meet with university administration on Tuesday to clarify the rules surrounding practice. If possible, he would like to have 'fall ball,' with a similar structure to what teams typically do in the spring.

"Just so they have some taste of football," he said.

In its statement, the WIAC said each institution will have the autonomy to establish practice opportunities within the limitations stipulated by the NCAA throughout the 2020-21 academic year.

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Nick Tabbert

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