ROCKFORD — Rock Valley College, a member of the North Central Community College Conference (NC4), has decided to cancel its basketball and volleyball seasons.
The news comes after the NC4’s recent announcement that it was canceling the three sports because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Rock Valley planned begin its seasons in January after being put on hold ahead of their usual November start dates.
Rock Valley is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA Division III) Region IV.
“Over the past several months, I have had meetings with athletic directors from the N4C, Region IV and around the country, as well as our RVC administration on a regular basis, to consider how winter sports competition might take place as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our campus, our community, and our nation,” said RVC Athletic Director Darin Monroe. “The fact that volleyball and basketball are indoor sports that are considered medium and high risk according to the [Illinois Department of Public Health] factored in to our decision to cancel those seasons. My heart breaks for the student-athletes, coaches, staff and supporters who are affected by this decision, but their safety and well-being has always been our top priority.”
RVC President Dr. Howard Spearman said: “My heart goes out to our student-athletes and coaches in these three sports. I know how hard they have all worked and the sacrifices and adjustments they have made in hopes of competing this season. The resiliency these athletes have shown will make them mentally stronger scholars and athletes going forward. As with all decisions we have made for the college throughout COVID, the safety of our students and staff was our primary consideration.”
Officials say plans to hold outdoor winter sports will move forward. Men’s and women’s soccer were moved from fall competition to spring, per the NJCAA 2021 Sports Guidelines, and will compete in a shortened season with practices beginning in March and competition beginning in April.
Meanwhile, RVC’s traditional spring sports, baseball and softball, will continue to prepare for a spring season with some modifications. Annual spring trips for baseball and softball have been canceled as have in-season overnight trips. Practices will begin in February. RVC has yet to make a decision on the seasons for men’s and women’s bowling.