Jerry Hanson, Sports Information Director
Clarke University athletic director Curt Long announced today that the university is opting out of the remainder of Pride’s 2020 football season.
After much consideration and consultation, Long said the university feels the best decision for our football team is to undeclare for the Fall 2020 season. “We appreciate the efforts by our players, coaching staff, and athletic trainers to keep health and safety with COVID-19 protocols at the forefront throughout the season,” said Long.
“With several postponed games during the season, we have run out of dates to complete the conference schedule without having to play into December. Currently, we have students coming out of quarantine, and with the rising number of COVID cases in our city, we want to provide as much safety as possible.”
Clarke had previously committed to going online after Thanksgiving, reducing the number of students on campus and increasing the university’s ability to keep its campus safe.
Clarke informed the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Heart of America Athletic Conference of its decision on Thursday.
Clarke head football coach Miguel Regalado shared the news with his team on Friday afternoon.
“From the moment this team reported to camp, we’ve dealt with unprecedented obstacles and hurdles,” Regalado said. “I’m very proud of the way we adjusted, adapted, and overcame all season long. Without spring football or any type of summer strength and conditioning, the amount of improvement we showed from year one to year two is incredible.”
“I’m honored to work at an institution that is willing to make tough decisions but does so with caution and with its student-athlete’s welfare in mind and at the forefront. Thank you to everyone at Clarke University that made the 2020 season possible.”
Earlier this week, the NAIA decided that athletes’ participation in the 2020 fall or winter sports will not count toward their eligible seasons. This allows student-athletes to use their eligibility to participate in full uninterrupted seasons in the future.
Clarke finishes the 2020 season with a 2-3 mark. The Pride posted wins over MidAmerica Nazarene University and Graceland University.