Canadian university sport has ground to a virtual halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic that also canceled this year’s Vanier Cup.
U Sports canceled six fall championships, that includes the Nov. 28 annual football title game in a city that had not been announced.
The women’s rugby and hockey, men’s and women’s cross-country and soccer championships all planned for later this year were canceled, too.
The Uteck and Mitchell Bowls, which serve as the Vanier Cup semifinals, were also called off.
The defending-champion University of Calgary Dinos’ quarterback Josiah Joseph hopes the announcement on Monday doesn’t spell the end of his collegiate career.
23-year-old Joseph has one year of eligibility remaining but he needs U Sports to alter its football age-out rule to play in 2020-21.
On Monday, the Atlantic and Ontario conferences announced all varsity sport is shut down to the end of this year.
Canada West will not operate any team sports for the remainder of the calendar year, but has yet to make a decision on golf, swimming, and cross-country.
Decisions also await on whether or not winter sports can resume in 2021.
The RSEQ hasn’t declared its plans for Quebec.
U Sports said that athletes whose championships are canceled in the 2020-2021 season will not lose one year of eligibility.
However, Joseph represents a cohort of footballers caught up in rule designed to limit the age of players in Canadian university football to under 25 years old. Players have more 7 years after graduating from high school in order to complete their five-year eligibility.
Canadian university sport includes about 20,000 students at 56 schools and employs about 900 coaches.
Schools can continue offering athletic financial awards (AFAs), which are generally tuition and fees.
Canadian university athletics is mostly funded by student fees, sponsorships, facility rentals, ticket sales, and summer camps. All face reductions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While much of the 2019-20 season was complete before the pandemic shut sport down mid-March, the national men’s and women’s volleyball and hockey championship were canceled.