Goff Rugby Twitter     Goff Rugby Facebook

NCAA Punts For Now; Fall College Rugby Still Unlikely

irish rugby tours

NCAA Punts For Now; Fall College Rugby Still Unlikely

The 2019 Women's D1 NCAA champs, Harvard. Alex Goff photo.

The NCAA Board of Governors was expected today to announce a halting or delay of fall sports championships, but stopped short of that recommendation.

Instead the group announced that it would keep thinking about the issue and make a decision in August. Representatives from various groups of conferences or college sports had urged the NCAA to be patient, saying that control of the COVID-19 pandemic is a moving target, and waiting really wouldn't hurt.

While college rugby is, for the most part, not part of the NCAA, the NCAA certainly has influence. If the NCAA restricts championships of sports this fall, it's likely such a restriction would be tighter on rugby. If the NCAA, conversely, did not place many restrictions on sports, especially football, we might see some college rugby in the fall—certainly it would keep the door open for the winter and spring.

College rugby teams are, however, starting to announce that they will forego fall rugby, and it's likely we will see many more over the next few weeks. Recently Bethel College, AIC, and Salisbury acknowledged that they will not have rugby this fall. That follows on Iona College making the same announcement.

The NCAA rugby competition, which has three divisions of women's teams, almost all in the Northeast, will certainly not compete as normal, given that the Ivy League has halted all fall sports and three Ivy League teams are in the NCAA league. AIC is also in that league.

Several other sports conferences in the Northeast have announced they will not compete this fall.

So what that means is that if the NCAA does leave the door open for competition, it will likely be in regions where COVID has not hit hard (the Mountain West states, for example).

This article has been updated to reflect that the NCAA is dealing with playoffs and championships, not the school- or conference-level games.