The FIU Panthers have delayed the start of their 2020 football season through Wednesday, September 16, the school announced on Thursday.
The Panthers, which pushed back all intercollegiate competition due to the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, will have to reschedule or cancel two football games. FIU was scheduled to host Jacksonville State on Sept. 3 and play at UCF on Sept. 12.
Barring any additional delays or cancellations, the Panthers will now open the 2020 season on Saturday, Sept. 26 at Liberty.
FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg issued the following statement regarding today’s decision.
“Dear members of the university community,
The health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff are our top priority.
With this in mind, and based on input from our FIU healthcare experts, the informed science surrounding COVID-19 and the current circumstances in our South Florida community, FIU will postpone all intercollegiate competitions through September 16. We are making this decision in an abundance of caution.
We are working with Conference USA and the FIU Board of Trustees. If additional decisions are made, we will share those with the university community.
As FIU continues its efforts to help control the spread of COVID-19, we ask our university community to follow the Panthers Protecting Panthers protocols, which include completing the P3 app questionnaire before every campus visit, wearing face coverings while on campus, practicing physical distancing and washing hands or using hand sanitizer often.”
Conference USA still plans to play an eight-game conference schedule with up to four non-conference games this season. One league member, Old Dominion, announced on Monday that they are canceling their 2020 football season. FIU was scheduled to play at Old Dominion on Sept. 19.
Additionally, Conference USA member Rice has also postponed their season until Saturday, Sept. 26.