The USA South Athletic Conference announced on Tuesday that it is postponing fall sports competition due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The presidents of the USA South voted unanimously to postpone all fall sports conference competition until the spring 2021 semester.
The USA South sports impacted are football, men's soccer, women's soccer, volleyball, men's cross country, and women's cross country. Covenant College will not participate in outside competition in those sports or in men's tennis, women's tennis, and golf during the fall semester.
The decision was made in light of several factors, including the recent rise in positive COVID-19 cases throughout the USA South's geographical footprint.
Other major factors include the availability, cost, and feasibility of adequate and consistent testing for student-athletes.
"We are supportive of the decision by the USA South Athletic Conference, as we seek to protect the health and safety of our student-athletes," Covenant Director of Athletics Dr. Tim Sceggel said. "However, we are still looking forward to having student-athletes on campus this fall as they will be able to practice with their teams per NCAA legislation."
"While our member institutions maintain the freedom to address athletics as they see best on their individual campuses this fall, the NCAA recommendations especially related to testing that came out recently were a real game-changer for our 18 conference schools collectively," said Dr. Tom Hart, USA South Commissioner. "We will begin work immediately to develop a strategic plan that allows for fall conference sports competition to return in some capacity in the spring provided public health conditions improve in the coming months."
The NCAA recently passed a waiver that will allow for all student-athletes in all sports to practice and participate in other athletically-related activities in the fall.
"Although student-athletes will not be able to compete this fall, we are excited they still will have an opportunity to grow as athletes through practice, and grow as men and women of the King as our coaches remain committed to our discipleship efforts in the context of college athletics," added Dr. Sceggel.
Any further announcements from the USA South regarding the 2020-21 academic season will be announced later.