Great American Conference
RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – On Friday, The Great American Conference announced its Council of Presidents approved changes to the league’s upcoming football and basketball schedules, as well as alterations to the conference’s championship formats.
The 2020 football season now consists of the GAC’s twelve member schools playing a ten-game conference schedule that can begin on Thursday, September 10. The ten-game slate corresponds with changes to maximum playing seasons passed by the NCAA Division II Presidents Council earlier this month.
For the 2020-21 basketball season, the league will still compete in a double round-robin format, but will eliminate non-conference contests. That season opens on Friday, November 13. The 22-game season represents the maximum playable contests set forth by the NCAA.
“The Great American Conference athletic administrators, Commissioner Will Prewitt and Council of Presidents have worked very diligently to modify sports schedules to comply with new NCAA Division II guidelines,” said Northwestern Oklahoma State President and GAC Council of Presidents Chairwoman Dr. Janet Cunningham. “I believe we have struck a good balance of cost efficiencies and student-athlete safety while also preserving the student-athlete experience.”
With regards to the 14 conference championships the GAC contests, the number of competing teams will remain the same as in years past. However, a series of championships will see a reduction in length and multiple events will move to campus locations. The volleyball, basketball, golf, women’s tennis, baseball, and softball championships see one-day reductions in their formats.
“I’m appreciative our leadership identified ways to retain championship experiences for as many teams and individuals as possible,” Prewitt said. “These decisions are not pleasant to make, but our presidents, athletic directors, and additional administrators have worked hard to balance the financial realities that we are battling with allowing student-athletes to compete for championships.”
2020-2021 GAC Championships Schedules:
Oct. 24: Cross Country – Hosted by Southwestern Oklahoma State University (all teams)
Nov. 12-14: Women’s Soccer – Hosted by highest seed (four teams)
Nov. 13-15: Men’s Soccer – Hosted by highest seed (four teams)
Nov. 20-21: Volleyball – Hosted in Hot Springs, Arkansas (eight teams)
March 5-7: Basketball – Host TBD (eight men’s and women’s teams each)
April 15-17: Track & Field – Hosted by Southern Arkansas University (all teams)
April 19-20: Golf – Hosted in Hot Springs, Arkansas (all teams)
April 23-24: Women’s Tennis – Host TBD (six teams)
May 6-8: Baseball – Host TBD (eight teams, single-elimination)
May 7-8: Softball – Host TBD (eight teams, single-elimination)