With eight of 10 member institutions electing to not participate in the conference season due to COVID-19 reasons, the Great Northwest Athletic Conference announced last week that it will not conduct a 2020-21 conference schedule for men’s and women’s basketball.

 Alaska Fairbanks elected on Dec. 11 to not participate in the conference season due to health and safety concerns. With that decision and Seattle Pacific’s subsequent decision to opt-out on Dec. 16, the conference schedule was determined to no longer be viable. No regular-season champion in either sport will be declared.

Six GNAC members elected to opt-out the conference basketball seasons on Nov. 13: Alaska Anchorage, Central Washington, Montana State Billings, Simon Fraser, Western Oregon and Western Washington.

Each GNAC institution shall retain the autonomy to independently schedule basketball contests to occur no earlier than Jan. 7.

Team activities, practice and training opportunities and contests against outside competition will be determined and defined by each member institution but must adhere to NCAA policies and local public health authorities.

The Seattle Pacific men’s and women’s basketball teams plan to produce schedules for games that will be contested early in 2021. Those schedules will likely be comprised of local colleges and while they would not count as official conference contests, they might include some of the other three GNAC schools from the state of Washington.

The Falcons 2021 basketball schedules will be released in early January.

All games will be contested without spectators present. Teams will comply with NCAA, state and local health protocols, including weekly COVID testing, mask-wearing by participants not actively on the court and isolation and quarantine in the event of positive tests or exposure.

The GNAC Management Council and CEO Board continue to look at the feasibility of the spring seasons for baseball, softball, outdoor track and field, men’s and women’s golf and women’s rowing; and the suspended fall seasons for cross country, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball.