The Southern Conference (SoCon) has postponed their 2020 conference football season, the league announced on Thursday.
The decision, which was made a result of the ongoing novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, also includes football, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, and volleyball.
“This decision was made with extensive evaluation and conversation,” Southern Conference Commissioner Jim Schaus said. “Ultimately, we felt it necessary to ensure the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches and staff. This decision was also supported by the conference’s medical advisory committee.
According to the statement, the Southern Conference intends to move regular-season competition and championships to the spring.
“I am greatly saddened to not be able to conduct our fall conference competition. We know what this means to our student-athletes, coaches, staff and loyal fans, but safety must come first. We are still hopeful that we can have these sports successfully compete in the spring. We will continue to daily monitor the COVID-19 situation in order to make prudent and necessary decisions regarding athletic practice and competition in the future.”
The Southern Conference will allow its members to compete in non-conference competition this fall, which is similar to decisions made by the Missouri Valley Football Conference, Big South Conference, and Southland Conference.
The Southern Conference is the 12th Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) conference to cancel their fall sports, joining the Ivy League, Patriot League, Mid-Eastern Athletic Association (MEAC), Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), Northeast Conference (NEC), Pioneer Football League (PFL), Big Sky Conference, Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC), Big South Conference, and Southland Conference.
The only remaining FCS conferences that has not announced a postponement of conference competition is the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC). With every other conference delaying to fall, it’s likely that the OVC will join them.