The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa will not be returning to the tracks, courts and fields for 2020–21 fall sports, per an announcement made by the Big West Conference Board of Directors on Thursday, December 10. This decision does not impact fall sports unaffiliated with the Big West Conference.
The decision of the Board to not conduct men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s indoor volleyball for the 2020–21 academic year came after extended consideration of the ongoing health and safety challenges affecting Big West campuses, communities and the significant resources required to properly safeguard the health and well-being of all student-athletes.
“Protecting the health and safety of our student-athletes and following public health guidelines are our top priorities,” said Big West Commissioner Dan Butterly. “Despite a strong desire to return our fall sport student-athletes to competition, the board unanimously agreed that the resources and protocols needed to safely and equitably conduct fall, winter and spring sports seasons concurrently was not in line with those priorities nor in the best interests of our student-athletes and coaches.”
The board acknowledged it will continue to monitor and evaluate the current program of COVID-19 medical and safety protocols in men’s and women’s basketball. Basketball will guide a decision regarding a safe return to competition for Big West spring sports and is expected by late January 2021.
As medical and scientific data rapidly evolves surrounding the pandemic, the conference will continue to monitor developments and will consider additional actions as needed.