The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) announced March 16 that it is cancelling the NJCAA Division I and Division II men's and women's basketball championships and the spring sports competition for all spring sports teams, 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 academic year," said Dr. Christopher Parker, NJCAA President and CEO said in a press release. "As an association, the NJCAA exhausted all possible avenues to postpone competition for both upcoming basketball championships and spring sport competition. We believe following the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the decision is in the best interest of our member colleges and our student-athletes."
If there is anything positive to come from the NJCAA's decision it is that no spring sport student-athlete who is enrolled at a member college in 2020 will be charged with a year of competition. That means all sophomores on spring sports teams will be allowed to return for another year of competition at the community college level.
Spring competition includes all practices, regular season, postseason and national championship play.
In addition to the cancellation of competition, all on and off-campus recruiting for all sports will be halted until April 15 with further evaluation to be processed at that point in time.
The NJCAA 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.
The NJCAA's decision is a particular disappointment to the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) men's basketball team. The Bears tied for the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCA) regular-season championship and then won the NJCAA Region XI championship to qualify for the NJCAA Division II Men's Basketball Championship for the first time since 2015. The tournament was originally scheduled for March 17 to 21 and then was tentatively moved to April 20 to 25. Now it will not be played at all.
DMACC spring sports teams affected by the decision include baseball, men's and women's golf and softball.