College athletics: SLC pushes start of soccer, volleyball seasons to Sept. 1

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By Jason Pugh, Northwestern State Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations

NATCHITOCHES – In accordance with a decision made by the Southland Conference, the start of Northwestern State’s soccer and volleyball seasons have been pushed back until at least Sept. 1. 

The conference member schools’ 13 athletic directors voted unanimously Thursday to approve the following: “That, through Aug. 31, 2020, Southland Conference members cancel all volleyball and soccer competitions, including scrimmages, exhibitions and countable matches. Beginning Sept. 1, 2020, each institution shall have the discretion to schedule non-conference opposition.”

The conference officially made the announcement Friday morning.

“There is a level of determination on the part of the Southland Conference membership to still hold fall sports competitions, in some form or fashion, if doing so can be done in a way that is in the best interest of health and safety of all involved. Details related to those health and safety factors continue to be scrutinized by NSU’s sports medicine staff in collaboration with our sports medicine partner, the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center, and the Southland Conference office,” said NSU Director of Athletics Greg Burke.

In line with its fellow Southland Conference members, the Northwestern State athletic department continues to focus on the enhanced coronavirus/COVID-19 protocols it instituted – in cooperation with its official health partner, Natchitoches Regional Medical Center – ahead of voluntary workouts beginning in June. NSU also continues to follow guidelines set forth by the NCAA as well as local health, government and university leaders.