Southern cancels 2020 football game against Florida A&M

Photo: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The Southern Jaguars have canceled their 2020 football game against the Florida A&M Rattlers, according to a report by the Tallahassee Democrat.

Southern was scheduled to host Florida A&M in Week 2 on Saturday, Sept. 12 at Ace W. Mumford Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. According to the report, Southern has decided not to play during the first couple of weeks of the season due to the ongoing novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“From my understanding, Southern is not playing for the first couple of weeks. Our trip to Baton Rouge is canceled. Right now, we’re in conversations about replacing the game,” Florida A&M Vice President/Director of Athletics Kortne Gosha told the Tallahassee Democrat.

Per the report, Florida A&M is looking to fill their new schedule vacancy with another historically black college and university (HBCU) and they will consider home-and-home series as well.

Florida A&M is currently scheduled to open the 2020 season on Sunday, Sept. 6 in the Orange Blossom Classic against the Albany State Golden Rams at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Southern is also scheduled to open the season with a neutral-site contest, but its status is up in the air if the Jaguars don’t plan to start their season until mid-to-late September. The Jags are scheduled to open the season on Saturday, Sept. 5 in the Detroit Football Classic at Ford Field against the Tennessee State Tigers.

The Southern-Florida A&M game is not the first to be canceled due to COVID-19. On Wednesday, it was announced that the 2020 Southern Heritage Classic between Jackson State and Tennessee State was canceled due to COVID-19.

Additionally, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced that their members cannot begin playing until Sept. 12, which affected games against four Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) teams that were scheduled for Sept. 5. Those games include Hastings at Drake, Langston at Jackson State, Point at Kennesaw State, and Ave Maria at Stetson.

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