The landscape of collegiate athletics is shifting by the day, and the team at LRT-Sports is dedicated to keeping everyone informed. Last month, we published an article about the changes conferences were making in regards to their fall seasons. Since then, several more conferences and universities have likewise altered their 2020-21 athletic schedules. Here is the latest update, by conference and university, for the month of August:
The University of Connecticut/Big East: UConn’s football program left the American Athletic Conference last month, and it is now an FBS Independent school. The university made the call on August 5th to suspend its football program for the 2020, citing coronavirus concerns. The rest of the athletic department operates under the Big East, which announced on August 12th that fall sports would be postponed, and is planning to host fall sports in spring of 2021.
MAC: On August 8th, the Mid-American Conference became the first FBS conference to postpone its fall season. MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said of the decision, “There are simply too many unknowns for us to put our student-athletes in situations that are not clearly understood.”
Mountain West Conference: On August 10th, the Mountain West Conference announced “the indefinite postponement of all scheduled fall sports contests and MW championship events in response to ongoing challenges with the effective mitigation and management of the COVID-19 virus in conjunction with athletic competition.” The conference says it “will begin to explore the feasibility of rescheduling fall sports competition, including the possibility of those sports competing in the spring, and develop options for consideration,” and that decisions regarding winter sports are still being discussed.
Big Ten: On August 11th, the Big Ten Conference became the first Power Five conference to officially postpone its fall season, with hopes to play in the spring. According to its statement, the postponement “including all regular-season contests and Big Ten Championships and Tournaments, due to ongoing health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Pac-12: Hours later, the Pac-12 announced it would be postponing its fall season with a goal to resume competition in spring 2021. As of this writing, the ACC, Big 12, and ACC are working on revised scheduling plans in an effort to start fall sports on varying dates in September.
Big South Conference: On August 12th, the Big South Conference announced the postponement of all fall sports “with the intent of playing in the spring.”
Southland Conference: On August 13, the Southland Conference announced a plan to postpone all fall sports “with an intent to explore conference competition in the spring semester.” The conference’s press release notes that “Institutions may choose to participate in limited fall competition,” although it is not clear how those logistics will work for universities.
Big Sky Conference: Days after the Big Sky Conference announced that football would be pushed to the spring, the conference announced it would be postponing all fall sports to the spring of 2021. The conference says that “institutions may continue with permissible athletics activities at their discretion while abiding by NCAA legislation, campus policies, and local and state regulations.”
New Mexico State University: On August 13, independent NMSU announced it would be postponing all fall sports until spring of 2021.
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