AUSTINTOWN, Ohio — The Presidents Council of the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) has postponed all NCAA intercollegiate athletics competition through December 31, 2020 amidst continued concerns about COVID-19. The conference is committed to moving NCAA intercollegiate competition to the spring, with various models being currently discussed.
Currently the conference consists of 10 members, including Baldwin-Wallace College, Capital University, Heidelberg University, John Carroll University, Marietta College, University of Mount Union, Muskingum University, Ohio Northern University, Otterbein University and Wilmington College. Wilmington became the 31st OAC member school on July 1, 2000.
The fall sports that have intercollegiate competition postponed include cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis and volleyball. The winter-season sports of basketball, indoor track and field, swimming and diving, and wrestling will also have intercollegiate competition postponed during the 2020 calendar year, with plans to resume in January 2021.
While competition will not occur in fall 2020, the conference is planning a robust engagement of student-athletes during the fall semester with conditioning and preparation for competition according to CDC guidelines and NCAA criteria in conjunction with local health guidelines.
About the OAC
In all of college athletics, only three conferences were formed before the 20th century. Only three leagues had the vision and foresight to be organized before the NCAA itself came into existence. The Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) is one of those three.
It began in 1902 with the major focus on the well-being of the student-athlete. More than a hundred years later, that focus has never wavered. And while maintaining the priority that “student” always comes before “athlete,” the OAC continues to display national success in the arenas and on the fields of endeavor.
The OAC is predated only by the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (1888) and the Big Ten Conference (1895). The Conference is older than the Rose Bowl, the World Series and has survived two world wars, the Great Depression, the Korean War and the Vietnam Conflict.
From a modest beginning of six charter members in 1902, the OAC grew to as many as 23 members in the mid-1920s. Through the years, a total of 31 colleges and universities at one time or another have been members of the OAC.