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NCAA reduces field sizes for Division II championships impacting UAF Athletics

NCAA approves the reduction of field sizes for Division II winter and spring championships.
NCAA approves the reduction of field sizes for Division II winter and spring championships.(Jordan Rodenberger (KTVF))
Published: Dec. 7, 2020 at 7:30 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Division II Administrative Committee of the National Collegiate Athletic Association approved to reduce bracket and field sizes for winter and spring championships in 2021 to alleviate budget shortfalls due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This approval will directly affect University of Alaska Fairbanks men’s and women’s basketball and women’s swimming.

“While reducing any number of championship opportunities is an undesirable outcome, Division II’s Championships Committee and its sport committees worked incredibly hard to preserve as many of those opportunities as possible for the winter and spring athletes who did not receive them last season,” said Sandra Jordan, chancellor at South Carolina Aiken and chair of the Division II Presidents Council. “These reductions are also one-year changes, made during a pandemic in order to secure the long-term future of the division. Division II will remain flexible and make every effort to conduct championships at full capacity moving forward.”

The press release went on to explain that the cost to host championships this year are higher due to testing student-athletes and other safety protocols. NCAA is also considering lost revenue from ticket sales and the cancellation of the 2020 DI Men’s Basketball Championships.

“Division II needed to use nearly $5 million from its reserves to cover expenses for the 2019-20 fiscal year. Lost revenue from the cancellation of the Division I Men’s Basketball Championships caused Division II to be allocated nearly $35 million less than it was projected for the 2019-20 fiscal year. Division II did receive $15 million in event cancellation insurance — part of $270 million the NCAA received between multiple policies — that helped mitigate the financial impact.” the release stated.

The UAF men’s and women’s basketball programs will compete in a four-team, conference only schedule with Northwest Nazarene, Saint Martin’s and Seattle Pacific. Their seasons are set to tip-off January 15, while the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championships have been cancelled all together. For UAF Swim, who compete in the Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference, they have not seen an official announcement on their upcoming season regarding scheduling or cancellations from PCSC. There was no mention of Nordic Ski, which is considered an NCAA Winter Sport.

WINTER SPORTS

SPORTFULL FIELD SIZERECOMMENDED FIELD SIZE (% REDUCTION)
Men’s Basketball6448 (25%)
Women’s Basketball6448 (25%)
Men’s Indoor Track & Field2702020 (25%)
Women’s Indoor Track & Field2702020 (25%)
Men’s Swimming & Diving175146 (17%)
Women’s Swimming & Diving205146 (29%)
Wrestling180132 (27%)

SPRING SPORTS

SPORTFULL FIELD SIZERECOMMENDED FIELD SIZE (% REDUCTION)
Baseball5642 (25%)
Men’s Golf10884 (22%)
Women’s Golf9672 (25%)
Men’s Lacrosse1210 (17%)
Women’s Lacrosse1612 (25%)
Women’s Rowing6 teams per event (2 events)4 teams per event (2 events) (34%)
Softball6448 (25%)
Men’s Tennis4836 (25%)
Women’s Tennis4836 (25%)
Men’s Outdoor Track & Field377283 (25%)
Women’s Outdoor Track & Field377283 (25%)

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