Northeastern state will see a slight reduction in the number of games scheduled across all sports in 2020-21.
The NCAA Division II President’s Council announced the reductions due to COVID-19. The reductions are only for the 2020-21 academic year.
In football, NSU will trim its number of contests from 11 to 10. The RiverHawks are scheduled to kick off their season on Thursday, Sept. 3 when they host Emporia State at Doc Wadley Stadium. NSU must play a minimum of five games to maintain sponsorship and a minimum of seven games to be considered for selection in Division II Championship Sports.
The basketball programs will be limited to a maximum of 22 contests. Last season, the NSU women played 26 games, while the men played 29 games, one of which was in the MIAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The minimum for sponsorship and for selections is 15 games.
In baseball, the RiverHawks can participate in a maximum of 40 contests/dates, while the minimums are 16 for sponsorship and also 16 for selections.
In softball, NSU can play in a maximum of 44 games. The minimums are the same as baseball.
The NSU soccer programs can play up to 14 games, while the minimums are seven. The golf programs can schedule up to 16 dates with the minimum requirements at four, and women’s tennis can participate in 17 matches with the minimums set to seven.
"I applaud the NCAA for this quick action to help schools address the disruption and budget shortfalls occurring in higher education", stated MIAA Commissioner Mike Racy in a press release. "As state tax revenues continue to decline, and state expenses continue to increase, and higher education appropriations in each state continue to shrink, these NCAA reductions in every Division II sport will assist MIAA athletics departments as they make adjustments to their 2020-21 budgets."
The MIAA scheduling subcommittee will make necessary modifications to comply and submit recommendations to the MIAA CEO Council. The MIAA CEO Council has a scheduled video conference on June 15.
The emergency recommendations from the President's Council are focused on institutional cost savings, reducing athletics operating costs as a result of COVID-19 compliance, and preserving fair and equitable standards for Division II championships' selection and competition.
"NCAA Division II conferences and institutions have acknowledged through survey feedback on contests reductions that COVID-19 has presented us with financial challenges that we are proactively addressing together,” The NCCA President’s Council stated. “In that spirit, and as a result of the governance structure's decision to reduce contest maximums, thus affecting current schedules, we strongly encourage all member institutions and conferences to work cooperatively and collegially when adjusting schedules. Please keep in mind the purpose behind these actions is to assist all institutions with short-term financial concerns so that we may emerge stronger as a membership and division."