College athletics: SWAC postpones fall sports seasons, including football, to spring

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There will be no fall football season this year for Grambling State and the rest of the Southwestern Athletic Conference teams.

In a Monday press release, the SWAC announced it is postponing “all scheduled fall contests and SWAC championships due to continuing concerns related to the COVID-19 global pandemic.”

In addition to football, the fall sports impacted include men’s and women’s cross country, soccer and volleyball.

“The conference has started the process of formalizing plans to conduct a competitive schedule for the fall sports during the 2021 spring semester,” the press release stated.

“The SWAC Council of Presidents and Chancellors felt this action was necessary out of growing concern for the health, safety and well-being both mentally and physically of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, team staff, campus faculty, fans and supporters.”

Grambling State President Rick Gallot said the following in a school press release.

“These decisions would be more difficult if it weren’t so clear what’s in the best interest of public safety. Current medical science indicates that if the proper precautions are taken by entities like ours, surge in cases will slow down. We have a responsibility to act as preventers and protectors of those we serve.”  

Louisiana Tech was scheduled to host SWAC member Prairie View A&M on Sept. 19 at Joe Aillet Stadium.

“We are obviously aware of the SWAC’s decision to cancel all fall competition and how that affects a number of our programs’ schedules, including a home football game against Prairie View A&M,” Louisiana Tech Athletic Director Tommy McClelland said in a statement posted on Twitter. “We are having conversations with some other programs about the possibility of filling that open slot on our home schedule. Just like in every aspect of our daily lives, these are unprecedented times in college athletics. But we remain committed to our student-athletes, coaches, support staff and fans as we figure out the new normal.”

The 2019 football roster posted on GSU’s website showed only one player from Bossier Parish. Defensive back Phillip Lee, a former Airline standout, was a redshirt sophomore last season.