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Stanford celebrates winning the 2019 women's soccer national title. Photo: Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

With college football grabbing most of the headlines, it's easy to forget the other fall sports that have been affected by the pandemic.

The state of play: The NCAA has postponed all fall championships (outside of FBS football), while regular season decisions are up to conferences and schools.

  • Three Power 5 conferences (SEC, ACC, Big 12) and three Group of 5 conferences (American, C-USA, Sun Belt) plan to play fall sports.
  • "We have to go on a crusade to not delay fall sports. We've got to hang in there. If we don't, it weakens the case to play football," said one Group of 5 athletic director.

Men's soccer:

  • Reigning champs: Georgetown (D-I), U of Charleston (D-II), Tufts (D-III)
  • The impact: While the number of USMNT members who played college soccer decreased dramatically last decade, the NCAA is still a primary source of national team talent. In 2018, nearly 40% of the roster played in college.

Women's soccer:

  • Reigning champs: Stanford (D-I), Grand Valley State (D-II), Williams (D-III)
  • The impact: The NWSL season begins in the spring, and with the addition of an expansion team (Racing Louisville), the demand for rookies will be greater than ever (more than a dozen rookies played in last month's Challenge Cup). Postponing fall soccer will impact that pipeline.

Women's volleyball:

  • Reigning champs: Stanford (D-I), San Bernardino (D-II), Johns Hopkins (D-III)
  • The impact: Top seniors often leave school after the fall season ends to play overseas, and a new domestic option will emerge in February with the debut of Athletes Unlimited. A spring season complicates things for those with professional ambitions.

Field hockey:

  • Reigning champs: UNC (D-I), West Chester (D-II), Middlebury (D-III)
  • The impact: Field hockey was one of the 11 sports that Stanford permanently dropped last month to help offset financial losses.

Cross country:

  • Reigning champs: BYU men and Arkansas women (D-I), Grand Valley State men and Adams State women (D-II), Pomona-Pitzer men and Johns Hopkins women (D-III).
  • The impact: Cross country runners often participate across all three seasons, with indoor and outdoor track following XC. So moving the season to the spring would require athletes to train on multiple surfaces at once.

Go deeper

Media doubles down on sports betting

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Sports media companies are leaning further into sports betting as more states legalize the practice and the NFL and college football seasons kick into gear.

Driving the news: ESPN has entered into separate agreements with Caesars Entertainment and DraftKings, both of which include exclusive link integrations (i.e. affiliate partnerships) across ESPN's digital platforms.

46 mins ago - World

Army to award Purple Hearts to troops injured in Iran missile attack

Damage at Ain al-Asad military airbase housing U.S. and other foreign troops in the western Iraqi province of Anbar in January 2020. Photo: Ayman Henna/AFP via Getty Images

The Army has approved 39 more Purple Hearts for U.S. soldiers wounded in an Iranian military ballistic missile attack on an Iraq base in January 2020, the Army Times first reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: Most of these soldiers sustained brain injuries, per the Army Times. Then-President Trump dismissed their injuries at the time as "headaches" and "not very serious," sparking backlash from some veterans groups.

Scoop: U.S. begins denying Afghan immigrants

Afghan refugees on a bus bound for temporary housing after arriving in Greece. Photo: Byron Smith/Getty Images

The Biden administration has begun issuing denials to Afghans seeking to emigrate to the United States through the humanitarian parole process, after a system that typically processes 2,000 applications annually has been flooded with more than 30,000.

Why it matters: Afghans face steeper odds and longer processes for escaping to the U.S., despite the earlier sweeping efforts by the Biden administration to assist its allies. Immigration lawyers and advocacy groups say the government has set untenable barriers to a safe haven in the U.S.