BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WLOX) - There were conflicting reports about what the Southwestern Athletic conference would do this fall.
Stadium reported Friday that fall sports were canceled, while SWAC Commissioner Charles McClelland said that report was “100 percent inaccurate”.
Monday’s meeting with the conference’s Council of Presidents and Chancellors cleared up any and all confusion by canceling competition for the fall, but allowing fall sports to be played in the spring.
For football, the plan - for now - is to have a six or seven-game conference schedule. Each school will play a total of six conference games, four divisional and two non-divisional, with the option of playing one non-conference game. Prior to games kicking off in late February to early March, the conference’s 10 teams will have a 8-week training period starting in January.
“Football is big, and a lot of people plan activities around it. They plan weddings on off-weekends. It’s a big part of who we are in the south, and I think what we’re learning to do right now is just realize it’s going to be ever-changing,” Alcorn State athletic director Derek Horne said. “We can’t sit back and play the what-ifs. We have to play what’s in front of us, and I think we as an institution, following Dr. Nave’s lead - our president - I feel like we’re doing the best we can with the circumstances we’re in.”
“I felt like this back in March,” Jackson State head football coach John Hendrick said. “In June, it became a little more crystal with me because of what was happening - opening up and not having the virus contained. I was prepared regardless of what happened. I’ve made a schedule about 5-6 different times, but I’m getting ready to do it again.”
Commissioner McClelland says that the spring games will not happen if there isn’t a vaccine and COVID-19 cases are still high in March next year. The conference are also in contact with the MEAC about playing in the spring so that the Celebration Bowl can take place in Atlanta.