Just days after their seasons were suspended for two weeks, the Grayson baseball and softball teams had the rest of the 2020 season cancelled by the National Junior College Athletic Association in the wake of the increasing coronavirus pandemic.
After the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that all groups of 50 people or more be avoided for the next eight weeks, the NJCAA cancelled the remaining basketball championships as well as all spring sport competition, effective immediately.
“In light of the progressive evolvement of the COVID-19 situation, the NJCAA has decided to end all competition for the remainder of the academic year,” NJCAA President and CEO Dr. Christopher Parker said in a statement. “As an association, the NJCAA exhausted all possible avenues to potentially postpone competition for both upcoming basketball championships and spring sport competition. We believe following the recommendations of the CDC is in the best interest of our member colleges and our student-athletes.”
Spring competition is defined as all practices as well as regular season, postseason and national championship play.
In regards to eligibility for spring sports, no spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled at a member college in 2020 will be charged a year of participation.
The NJCAA also halted all on and off-campus recruiting for all sports until April 15 with further evaluation on that ban to be reassessed at that date.
The NJCAA also said it will explore the opportunity to expand allowable letters of intent for spring sports for both the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years under the recommendation of the NJCAA Eligibility Committee and it will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as more information becomes available.
On Friday, the North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference suspended baseball and softball play through March 30 and the NJCAA said at the time the JUCO World Series had not been cancelled.
The Lady Vikings had played four conference double-headers, the last coming with a split against NCTC on Wednesday and were not scheduled to play again until this Thursday at home against Cisco while the Vikings opened the baseball portion of conference play with a double-header sweep against Ranger on Wednesday and were scheduled to play a pair at Ranger this past Saturday, entering that match-up with a 16-3 overall record, before the suspension was put into place.
Both other area local colleges — Austin College and Southeastern Oklahoma State — had their seasons cancelled late last week after decisions made by their respective conferences, the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference and the Great American Conference.