Saturday, July 25, 2020

South Atlantic Conference Delays Start of Football Season

ROCK HILL, SC – The South Atlantic Conference Presidents Council has made the decision that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and in the best interest of the health, safety, and well-being of the student-athletes, coaches, administrators, fans and campus communities, the start of fall sports will be delayed. All scheduled competition for the 2020 fall sports seasons has been pushed back to Sept. 26. This includes men's and women's cross country, football, men's and women's soccer and volleyball. Further, teams will compete in conference-only competition and teams may begin preseason practice, per NCAA bylaws, for these sports during the fall 2020 semester, provided health and safety conditions allow these activities.

"The decision to delay the fall sports season was not an easy one to make," said Dr. Maurice Scherrens of Newberry, Chair of the SAC Presidents Council. "However, we feel this is the best course of action as it allows our institutions time to develop best practices for a safe return to campus and competition for our student-athletes. We will continue to assess the ever-changing situation, as we are dedicated to ensuring our student-athletes the opportunity to return to campus in the safest environment possible."

Fall competition schedules for the spring championship sports of baseball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's lacrosse, softball, and men's and women's tennis may also not begin prior to Sept. 26. In regard to the 2020-2021 winter sports of men's and women's basketball and men's and women's indoor track and field and wrestling, those seasons remain unchanged at this time.

"This was a very difficult decision, but one we feel has the best interest of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and fans in mind," SAC Commissioner Patrick Britz stated. "We all understand the desire everyone has to get back out there and play games, but the health and safety of our student-athletes take precedence over playing at this time. It is our responsibility to ensure their safety above all else. While this does not guarantee our fall sports will be able to compete during their traditional season, a delayed start gives us the best chance to continue to monitor the situation."

The SAC leadership will continue to assess the NCAA, federal, state, and local developments and provide updated revisions as further information is available.