The Stagg Bowl's debut in Northeast Ohio is going to have to wait.
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On Wednesday, the NCAA Division III Presidents Council that it has canceled all fall championships for the 2020 season. In a release, the NCAA cited the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and "related administrative and financial challenges" as the reasons for the cancellation.
“Looking at the health and safety challenges we face this fall during this unprecedented time, we had to make this tough decision to cancel championships for fall sports this academic year in the best interest of our student-athlete and member institutions,” Tori Murden McClure, chair of the Presidents Council and president at Spalding, said in a statement. “Our Championships Committee reviewed the financial and logistical ramifications if Division III fall sports championships were conducted in the spring and found it was logistically untenable and financially prohibitive. Our Management Council reached the same conclusion. Moving forward, we will try to maximize the championships experience for our winter and spring sport student-athletes, who unfortunately were short-changed last academic year.”
The cancellation of this year's fall championships means that the football title game -- known as the Stagg Bowl -- won't be taking place. After having been played in Shenandoah, Texas, for the previous two years and Salem, Virginia, for 24 years before that, the Stagg Bowl was set to be played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, in 2020 and 2021.
This year's Stagg Bowl marks the second major football event in Canton to be canceled this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this year, the Pro Hall of Fame postponed its annual enshrinement ceremony and canceled the Hall of Fame Game, with this year's class now set to be inducted in 2021.