Carson-Newman delays start of fall sports

Carson-Newman football games won’t be starting on time this fall.
Published: Jul. 24, 2020 at 5:57 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 24, 2020 at 8:06 PM EDT
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JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (WVLT) - Carson-Newman football games won’t be starting on time this fall.

The South Atlantic Conference approved a measure on Friday to delay the start of fall sports until the last Saturday in September.

“We will continue to work with the South Atlantic Conference and our fellow institutions in order to compete meaningfully during the fall semester while adhering to a resocialization of sport plan that puts student-athlete safety at the forefront of what we do,” Carson-Newman Vice President for Athletics Matt Pope said. “We look forward to getting our seasons underway in late September.”

The Eagles’ first two football games have been postponed until member schools can decide how to move forward.

Fall sports teams - which include cross country, football, soccer and volleyball - can begin preseason practice as long as they follow CDC guidance during the fall semester.

The league also approved a conference-only schedule for all fall sports.

"This was a very difficult decision, but one we feel has the best interest of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and fans in mind," SAC Commissioner Patrick Britz said. "We all understand the desire everyone has to get back out there and play games, but the health and safety of our student-athletes take precedence over playing at this time. It is our responsibility to ensure their safety above all else. While this does not guarantee our fall sports will be able to compete during their traditional season, a delayed start gives us the best chance to continue to monitor the situation."

The SAC and Carson-Newman will continue to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19 and will be prepared to make further changes should the public health crisis require coordination with the NCAA, federal, state and local developments.

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