The conference home for a majority of UND's athletic programs will push back the start of the fall sports season.
The Summit League announced Tuesday afternoon it would postpone the season until Sept. 23, as conferences around the country debate a return for sports amid the coronavirus pandemic.
UND became a member of the Summit League in 2018, rejoining regional rivals North Dakota State, South Dakota and South Dakota State.
UND's Summit League fall sports include women's soccer, volleyball and men's and women's cross country. The Summit League doesn't sponsor football, so the Fighting Hawks' program competes in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
According to a league statement, the delay will result in a conference-only schedule for women's soccer, men's soccer and volleyball. Competitive schedule for men’s and women’s cross country and non-championship segments for men’s and women’s golf and men’s and women’s tennis will also be delayed until Sept. 23, as will the non-traditional seasons for baseball and softball.
Training and practices may continue to be conducted at the discretion of each institution in accordance with NCAA regulations and local health and safety guidelines, the Summit release said.
UND athletic director Bill Chaves said he's leaving decisions about practice setups to individual coaching staffs. He added that opposing schools have been helpful so far in rescheduling efforts over missed non-conference games.
And more dominoes may fall next week, Chaves said.
The NCAA Board of Governors is scheduled to meet on Tuesday and may decide the fate of fall NCAA championship events.
"I think given what came out of the last board of governors meeting ... it seemed like there was at least some indication that there would be some decision made on Aug. 4 in regard to fall championships," Chaves said. "That's what we're waiting on at this stage. That's the domino that would move some things along."
On Tuesday, UND confirmed it has four active coronavirus cases among its student-athletes and that 20 have tested positive since the testing process began earlier this summer. Chaves said UND has about 200 of its roughly 350 student-athletes on campus right now.
The Summit League announcement is not the first alteration to UND sports schedules for 2020-21.
The MVFC announced Monday it will continue to wait before making any schedule alterations. However, UND's season opener was impacted by the Pioneer League, which decided to call off its non-conference football games. The Fighting Hawks were slated to open the year against Pioneer member Valparaiso, which will now come to Grand Forks in 2025 instead.
The UND men's hockey team also has had two changes to the schedule.
It announced that its destination game in Nashville against Penn State will be backed up one year to October 2021, while its nonconference series at Cornell, scheduled for Oct. 30-31, was called off when the Ivy League canceled all sports through December. Cornell is a member of the Ivy League.