The American Athletic Conference has announced that they will play eight conference games as originally scheduled in 2020, beginning on Saturday, Sept. 19.
All 11 American teams will play their eight conference games on their originally scheduled dates, which were previously announced on February 18.
As for non-conference games, those contests will be played at the discretion of the individual schools. American members can play up to four non-conference games, although some of the contests have already been canceled due to decisions by other leagues.
“With the guidance of the health experts on the COVID-19 Medical Advisory Board and through the diligent work of the athletics staffs at our schools and at the conference, we have a sensible direction for the return of intercollegiate athletics in the fall,” said M. David Rudd, president of the University of Memphis and chair of The American’s Board of Directors. “The safety of our students, staff members and campus communities will continue to be our top priority. We are confident that the protocols put together by our Medical Advisory Group will guide a safe return to play. As medical information evolves, we will update our plans in conjunction with national, state and local guidelines.”
The American Football Championship Game will be played on Saturday, Dec. 5, 12 or 19 at the home stadium of the regular-season champion. The conference will wait until at least Nov. 1 before announcing the exact date of the championship game.
“The health and safety of our student-athletes is our top priority as we face the challenges of the current global pandemic,” said American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco. “With the guidance and advice of our Medical Advisory Group, which has done an outstanding job developing health and safety protocols, we have developed a collaborative and comprehensive plan that will allow us safely and reasonably to play our fall sports. Our plan provides us with the flexibility to adapt to potential disruptions to our schedules. I want to thank our board of directors, our Medical Advisory Group, athletic directors, senior woman administrators and conference office staff for their thoughtful input and approach to what is one of the most challenging situations we will face.”
Two American members are currently scheduled to kick off their 2020 seasons in Week Zero (Saturday, Aug. 29). East Carolina hosts Marshall while SMU is slated to travel to take on Texas State.