Southern officially cancels first 2 football games due to COVID-19; revised schedule released

Southern officially cancels first 2 football games due to COVID-19; revised schedule released
The Southern Jaguars have officially canceled the first two games of the 2020 season due to COVID-19. (Source: Josh Auzenne/WAFB-TV)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Southern University has officially canceled the first two football games of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The season-opener against Tennessee State at Ford Field in Detroit on September 5 and home-opener against Florida A&M are affected by these latest developments. The Jags will open the season on September 19 at Alabama A&M. The new home-opener will be on September 26 against Jackson State in the annual Pete Richardson Classic.

Southern Football Revised Schedule
SWAC COVID-19 News

”First and foremost, we are committed to and 100 percent focused on the safety, health and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and supporters,” said Southern athletic director Roman Banks. “Pushing our start date back to mid-September gives our coaches more time to get student-athletes acclimated and assess and focus on their appropriate physical conditioning after such a long, unprecedented period with no supervised work-outs. A later start will also help accommodate a later-than-usual initial reporting date for football due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the preparations that our campus is making in anticipation of a return to in-person instruction this fall.”

2020 Southern University Football Schedule

September 5, 2020 - Unavailable

September 12, 2020 - Unavailable

September 19, 2020 - Alabama A&M University (Away)

September 26, 2020 - Jackson State University (Home)

October 3, 2020 - Bye

October 10, 2020 - Alabama State University (Away)

October 17, 2020 - Texas Southern University (Home)

October 24, 2020 - Alcorn State University (Home)

October 31, 2020 - Florida Memorial University (Homecoming)

November 7, 2020 - Prairie View A&M (Away)

November 14, 2020 - Arkansas Pine Bluff (Home)

November 21, 2020 - Bye

November 28, 2020 - Grambling State (TBD)

Conferences across the country are beginning to look at a timeline of possibilities if the pandemic isn’t yet until control. The SWAC has its hard deadline, according to Commissioner Charles McClelland. He told ESPN on Friday, June 19 that the conference is preparing to start its football season on Labor Day weekend but has a contingency plan to push it back as late as October 17. He said after the 17th would mean a complete cancellation of fall sports and the 17th is the hard deadline in place if the outlook, in terms of the coronavirus, has not improved.

In that same light, Grambling head coach Broderick Fobbs sent out a strongly-worded tweet Thursday, June 18, talking about teams in other conferences reconvening for workouts.

”If we care about these student-athletes as people, workouts need to stop,” the tweet read. “Too many players are receiving positive test!!! Remember this is someone’s child.”

SWAC schools cannot reconvene for team workouts until July 8.

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