OLLU opts out of RRAC championship play for basketball, cheer and dance
OLLU has opted out of NAIA and Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) championship competition for the basketball, competitive cheer and competitive dance programs due to concerns over COVID-19 and safety and testing protocols.
Athletic Director Shane Hurley commented, “As basketball has a higher possibility of spread due to being indoors, on a small playing surface and a high degree of contact, we have opted to sit this year out of NAIA and RRAC championship play. We were very concerned about asymptomatic spread generated by opponents not testing on a regular basis, especially for indoors and high-contact sports.”
The Saints have notified teams that they are willing to play those who are testing weekly. The basketball staff will seek other programs following similar protocols and testing regimens to protect the student-athletes and OLLU community.
“While this decision was hoped to be avoided, it is one that we make in confidence for the general safety of all involved in the sport,” Hurley said. “Unfortunately, agreements could not be made with opponents, but we will seek out other playing opportunities to give our programs development opportunities as we prepare for the 2021-2022 year.”
Due to issues concerning national protocols and testing for competitive cheer and dance events, OLLU has undeclared for these indoor programs. The Saints will seek out other competitive experiences, locally and virtually, and the NAIA has granted all student-athletes in winter sports an additional year of eligibility. Hurley addressed the situation, saying, “As this was our initial year, we can use this year to expand and equip these programs to their fullest potential fully!”