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WIAC suspends winter sports through end of the year

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EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) announced Friday it has suspended all winter sports competitions through the end of 2020.

The decision was a unanimous one by the conference's council of chancellors. It came after several meetings to discuss COVID-19 risks and safety protocols.

The suspension includes men's and women's basketball, women's gymnastics, men's and women's ice hockey, men's and women's indoor track & field, men's and women's swimming & diving, and wrestling.

UW-Eau Claire Director of Athletics Dan Schumacher said the school is working to find a safe way for teams to practice.

That will not be easy, though, based on the testing requirements required by the NCAA.

Schumacher said it will likely take a vaccine for the Blugolds to compete again.

"Until the virus is prevented from spreading, or you're able to defend your body against virus in any way that you don't get it. I think until those types of scenarios come about, I just don't see the risk/reward, that the reward outweighs the risk," Schumacher said.

In July, the WIAC said it was delaying some fall sports and canceling others.

The announcement said WIAC officials are working on a plan for competitons to resume in the spring. It also said the conference is "committed to providing an engaging and meaningful experience for student-athletes."

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Nick Tabbert

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