Another Division I conference will not play football this fall. Today, the Patriot League, which competes in the FCS, announced it will not allow its student-athletes to participate in fall sports, but is leaving the option open for the spring. Decisions on winter and spring sports will be made at a later date. The Patriot League is comprised of American University, the United States Military Academy (Army), Boston University, Bucknell, Colgate, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh, Loyola, and the United States Naval Academy (Navy). Here’s the release:
Recognizing the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to present significant challenges to our campuses and communities, the Patriot League Council of Presidents announces the following decisions regarding Patriot League competition:
- Patriot League teams will not engage in competition in the fall season (championship and non-championship);
- Decisions surrounding winter and spring sport competition will be made at a later date; and,
- The opportunity for conditioning, strength training and other practice opportunities in all sports will be permitted provided health and safety conditions support such activities.
Because the United States Military Academy and the United States Naval Academy are unique in their environments and their missions within higher education, the Council of Presidents agree that the academies may continue to engage in competitive opportunities as considered appropriate by their respective Superintendents.
The collegiate athletics experience at all Patriot League institutions is valuable to fulfilling our educational and developmental missions, and the League recognizes that any degree of non-competition this fall is deeply disappointing to our student-athletes, coaches, and fans. However, the health and safety of our campuses and communities must be our highest priority.
The League is committed to exploring creative approaches and alternatives to providing future competitive experiences to our fall sport student-athletes, including the possibility of conducting fall sport competition and championships in the second semester.
Last week, the Ivy League became the first Division I conference to cancel fall sports. As of today, no FBS conferences have made that call, but with fall camp fast approaching, the clock is ticking. As we speak, all 14 SEC athletic directors are meeting in Birmingham to discuss fall sports, specifically, whether or not to move to an all-conference schedule like the Big Ten and Pac-12. A final decision isn’t expected until late July, but contingency plans are on the agenda. Here’s a view inside the room courtesy of Mississippi State AD Ross Bjork:
— Ross Bjork (@RossBjorkAD) July 13, 2020
Wear a mask and cross your fingers.