The Southland Conference 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 volleyball, women’s soccer, and cross country.
“After thoughtful consideration, the Southland Conference Board of Directors reached consensus in postponing league competition for our fall semester sports,” Dr. Houston Davis, Board Chair and President of the University of Central Arkansas, said. “Protecting competitive opportunities in a safe manner for our student-athletes was paramount in the review, and a delay to the spring allows campuses and athletic departments to get a better handle on issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
According to the statement, the Southland Conference will explore the possibility of competing in the spring.
“The Board concluded that an entire fall sports season is not likely, and that a postponement to spring can provide the important opportunities our teams annually seek,” Southland Conference Commissioner Tom Burnett added. “While disappointed that we won’t be playing these sports in the Southland’s 58th year of fall competition, we look forward to a unique spring season of athletics that also includes NCAA postseason opportunities.”
Similar to the Missouri Valley Football Conference and the Big South Conference, the Southland will allow its football members to play non-conference games this fall at their own discretion.
Institutions may choose to participate in limited fall competition.
The Southland Conference is the 11th 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), and Big South Conference. Most of these conferences will attempt to play in the Spring of 2021, but exact plans haven’t been announced.
The two remaining FCS conferences that are, for now, planning to compete in 2020 are the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) and Southern Conference (SoCon).