In a shocking move, the Southwestern Athletic Conference has announced that the 2020 football season of their member colleges has been officially postponed until spring.
As a conference that plays host to many of Mississippi’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, it is a crushing blow to athletes and programs like at Jackson State, Mississippi Valley State, and Alcorn State.
The 2020 season was set to be the 100th season in SWAC history; however, now it seems the celebration of a hundred years of stellar football will be taking place next year.
The SWAC athletic directors met with university presidents and the Board of Governors before announcing the decision at 6 pm on Monday.
The Southwestern Athletic Conference has announced the postponement of all scheduled fall contests along with SWAC championships due to continuing concerns related to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The fall sports impacted include men’s and women’s cross country, football, soccer and volleyball.
The conference has started the process of formalizing plans to conduct a competitive schedule for the fall sports during the 2021 spring semester.
Additional details regarding the rescheduling of contests and championships will be released at a later date, including more information pertaining to the 2020 Cricket Wireless SWAC Football Championship which was initially scheduled for Saturday, December 5th.
Fall sports teams and student-athletes will have the opportunity to attend classes and practices in preparation for a spring 2021 competitive schedule upon return to campus. Student-athletes will have the ability to participate in conditioning, strength training and practices in all sports provided all required local, state, and federal health and safety guidelines are met. There have been no final decisions made regarding competitive schedules for the league’s winter and spring sports at this time.
The SWAC Council of Presidents and Chancellors felt this action was necessary out of growing concern for the health, safety and well-being both mentally and physically of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, team staff, campus faculty, fans and supporters.
The continued increase of COVID-19 cases across many portions of the league’s geographic footprint and Southern regions of the country played a significant role in the council’s decision, along with data that suggests African-American communities have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The SWAC shares in the disappointment that will undoubtedly be felt by student-athletes, fans, and supporters impacted by the postponement of fall sports competition. The league will continue to review appropriate measures to ensure the health, safety and well-being of student-athletes, coaches, administrators and the local community which continues to be the primary responsibility of the Southwestern Athletic Conference and its member institutions.