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Southland plans to ‘proceed with 2020 football season as scheduled’

(KBTX)
Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 1:57 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Southland Conference commissioner Tom Burnett emphasized the conference’s commitment to playing the 2020 football season in the fall.

Burnett addressed many COVID-19 related issues during the Southland Conference Media Day on Wednesday. The announcement follows FCS conferences like the SWAC, Ivy League, MEAC and Patriot League that postponed all fall sports until the spring.

“To some degree, we’re going to have to be responsive to what other conferences do,” said Burnett, “but right now our intent is to motor forward and play the schedule as it currently lies.”

“We want our fans there. Our athletic directors, our presidents want to have full stadiums for whatever capacity by percentage they can have.”

“They will have to follow local guidance on what capacity they’ll be allowed. We are watching what our states say and local communities say and we are going to have to live with that,” said Burnett. “We will not have a conference standard that supersedes any of that.”

The Southland conference’s first scheduled game is a non-conference matchup between Central Arkansas and Austin Peay on August 29.

“That will be followed by what we think will be a full slate of games on Labor Day weekend,” said Burnett. “We anticipate our football camps opening soon with our focus on student-athletes beginning preseason practices as they normally do.”

NCAA Division I football programs are allowed up to an hour of walk-through practice beginning Friday, July 24. Players can use a football for the walk-throughs, however, they won’t be allowed to wear helmets or pads. Teams can hold the normal, four-week preseason camp starting August 7.

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