Although many in the Division III community from coaches and players to fans and administrators had been holding out hope that somehow, there would be an NCAA tournament to look forward to. Unfortunately, the Division III Management Council arrived at the decision to cancel all winter championship tournaments for the ’20-’21 season. This decision was announced on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 and was first reported on twitter by Dave McHugh, who is the host of Hoopsville (a Division III basketball show) and is one of the more prominent media members in Division III basketball.
As much as many would have liked to deny it, the writing has been on the wall for a little bit. In January, the crew at d3hoops.com were reporting that there was likely only going to be around 50% of schools in Division III that would be either playing or playing in time to be tournament eligible. In late January, the NCAA sent out a survey to all athletic directors in Division III to get an idea of what the participation numbers were going to look like in the division. The established thresholds to hold a championship tournament was at 60% for basketball, swimming & diving, and indoor track & field, and at 70% for ice hockey and wrestling. Unfortunately, participation fell below the established threshold in each sport and led to the cancellations.