SWAC postpones all fall sports including football, Bayou Classic until at least spring
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.- The Southwestern Athletic Conference has announced the postponement of all scheduled fall contests along with SWAC championships due to continuing concerns related to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The fall sports impacted include men’s and women’s cross country, football, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball. The conference has started the process of formalizing plans to conduct a competitive schedule for the fall sports during the 2021 spring semester.
Specifically, in the sport of football the plan includes a seven-game conference schedule beginning with an eight-week training period in January 2021. Each member institution will play a total of six conference games (four divisional/two non-divisional) with the option to play one non-conference game.
Additional details regarding scheduling for women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country along with the Cricket Wireless SWAC Football Championship game will be released at a later date.
Fall sports teams and student-athletes will have the opportunity to attend classes and practices in preparation for a spring 2021 competitive schedule upon return to campus. Student-athletes will have the ability to participate in conditioning, strength training and practices in all sports provided all required local, state, and federal health and safety guidelines are met. There have been no final decisions made regarding competitive schedules for the league’s winter sports at this time.
The SWAC Council of Presidents and Chancellors felt this action was necessary out of growing concern for the health, safety and well-being both mentally and physically of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, team staff, campus faculty, fans and supporters.
The continued increase of COVID-19 cases across many portions of the league’s geographic footprint and Southern regions of the country played a significant role in the council’s decision, along with data that suggests African-American communities have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The SWAC shares in the disappointment that will undoubtedly be felt by student-athletes, fans, and supporters impacted by the postponement of fall sports competition. The league will continue to review appropriate measures to ensure the health, safety and well-being of student-athletes, coaches, administrators and the local community which continues to be the primary responsibility of the Southwestern Athletic Conference and its member institutions.
About the SWAC
The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) is considered one of the premier HBCU conferences in the country and currently ranks among the elite in the nation in terms of HBCU alumni playing with professional sports teams.
Current championship competition offered by the league includes competition for men in Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field and Tennis.
Women’s competition is offered in the sports of Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Golf, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field, Soccer, Softball, Tennis and Volleyball.
Follow the SWAC
For complete coverage of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, please follow the SWAC on social media at @TheSWAC (Twitter), @TheSWAC (Facebook), and @TheSWAC (Instagram) or visit the official home of the Southwestern Athletic Conference at www.swac.org.
WITH SWAC DECISION, THE ANNUAL BAYOU CLASSIC POSTPONED UNTIL SPRING
A statement from the organizers of the Annual Bayou Classic
NEW ORLEANS – With the decision of the SWAC Council of Presidents and Chancellors to postpone fall sports contests, we are reviewing options for the 47th Annual Bayou Classic that was to be played in November 2020. The 47th Annual Bayou Classic has been postponed until Spring and will not be played in November 2020.
The organizers of Bayou Classic agree with SWAC’s decision as the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, team staff, campus faculty, fans and supporters are our top priority.
And while, Fall football and the Annual Bayou Classic are cultural staples, the organizers of Bayou Classic commit to developing a plan so this important historic tradition continues when it is safe to do so.
With the planned move of SWAC football to the Spring, we remain optimistic that the iconic Bayou Classic, ranked as the #1 HBCU Classic in the nation, will be played between Southern University and Grambling State University at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans at some time in the future.
Until then we ask for all Bayou Classic fans to stay safe, wear your mask in public and follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We will get past this national pandemic and will celebrate all of our HBCUs traditions – including the Bayou Classic – in an even bigger way.
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