AUSTINTOWN – The Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC), the league Wilmington College has participated in collegiate athletics since the turn of the century, announced Friday its plans to postpone all intercollegiate athletic competition through the calendar year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The conference is committed to collaboration to allow the affected sports to compete safely in 2021.
The Wilmington sports that are affected by this change are cross country, football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, indoor track & field, swimming and wrestling.
“The OAC believes we can continue to provide an excellent experience for our student-athletes,” said Tim Gleason, the league’s commissioner. “Continuing to make the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff, families, fans and campus communities will remain our highest priority.”
The presidents of the institutions that makeup the OAC – Baldwin Wallace University, Capital University, Heidelberg University, John Carroll University, Marietta College, the University of Mount Union, Muskingum University, Ohio Northern University Otterbein University and Wilmington College – were unanimous in this decision.
“Obviously, we would love to see competition for our student-athletes this fall,” said Terry Rupert, vice president for Athletic Administration and Director of Athletics. “Despite these unfortunate circumstances, we see it an unique opportunity to spend more time in the development and growth of these student-athletes. We believe this permits our student-athletes more opportunities to not only practice and condition, but also more time to their academic pursuits as they grow as future leaders.
“Wilmington College is committed to providing meaningful athletic experiences to its student-athletes, Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) and staff through practices, skill development, strength & conditioning and professional development opportunities.”