GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Southern Conference (SoCon) announced Thursday that the league will not have fall conference sports due to health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Non-conference competitions will be allowed, officials said.
The SoCon intends to move fall conference competitions to the spring, officials said.
The fall sports impacted by this decision are:
- Men’s and Women’s cross country
- Men’s and women’s soccer
Each school will determine individually what to do about spring sports that typically practice in the fall like men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s lacrosse, baseball, softball and rifle shooting.
"This decision was made with extensive evaluation and conversation,” SoCon commissioner Jim Schaus said, "ultimately, we felt it necessary to ensure the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches and staff."
This decision is supported by the conference’s medical advisory committee, officials said.
“I am greatly saddened to not be able to conduct our fall conference competition. We know what this means to our student-athletes, coaches, staff and loyal fans, but safety must come first. We are still hopeful that we can have these sports successfully compete in the spring. We will continue to daily monitor the COVID-19 situation in order to make prudent and necessary decisions regarding athletic practice and competition in the future," Schaus said.
UNC Greensboro athletic director Kim Record was disappointed for student-athletes and coaches but agreed with the conference's decision.
"Like many of our colleagues across the country, we would have loved to compete this fall," Record said, "however, there was too much uncertainty about the COVID-19 virus along with the ability to guarantee our student-athletes a responsible and safe competition environment."
All scholarships at UNCG will be honored, UNCG officials said.
Around the country, multiple conferences have made decisions about fall sports. Notably, the Big 10 suspended football and Pac 12 suspended all fall sports.