PORTLAND, Ore. — The Great Northwest Athletic Conference has canceled all athletic competitions for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year, the conference announced Monday.

The GNAC made the decision to limit the spread of of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. In addition to canceling all championship and non-championship sporting events, the conference is suspending "all countable athletics-related activities" until June 30, according to a press release.

Montana State University Billings is a member of the GNAC.

The NCAA Division II Administrative Committee will allow schools to self-apply for season-of-competition waivers for 2020 spring athletes. The NAIA and NJCAA, which both canceled their spring seasons earlier Monday, announced that they would not charge such athletes for a season of participation.

“Our greatest concern is for the health and welfare of everyone within the GNAC as well as that of the communities that our institutions are a part of,” GNAC commissioner Dave Haglund said in a press release. “This was not an easy decision, but with the continuously changing nature of the situation, it is the right decision to protect the health of everyone involved. We feel bad for our student-athletes who are seeing their seasons, and in some cases their athletic careers, come to an abrupt halt. Their hard work and sacrifice inspire us all.”

Last week, the GNAC suspended spring athletic events, and MSUB suspended all conference and nonconference spring sports competitions.

The Montana High School Association suspended its spring sports season indefinitely on Monday.

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