ACC, SEC, SoCon cancel spring sports seasons

ACC, SEC, SoCon cancel spring sports seasons
Baseball (Source: Josh Auzenne/WAFB-TV)

(AP) - The Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference canceled all athletics competition and practices through the rest of the 2019-20 academic year amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

Both leagues announced the move Tuesday. The ACC had previously suspended those activities “until further notice.”

The ACC’s statement said the cancellations came after a unanimous decision among league member schools, with Commissioner John Swofford saying league officials are “particularly disappointed for our student-athletes.”

Officials said all spring football games have been canceled and there will be no pro day events at SEC schools, WAFB reported.

“This is a difficult day for all of us, and I am especially disappointed for our student-athletes,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “The health and well-being of our entire conference community is an ongoing priority for the SEC as we continue to monitor developments and information about the COVID-19 virus.”

Elsewhere, by unanimous votes of the league’s Council of Presidents and directors of athletics, the Southern Conference is canceling all athletics-related activities for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year, including competition, championships, organized practices and meetings, due to the ongoing threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Commissioner Jim Schaus announced Tuesday.

“With the recent developments during this unprecedented coronavirus crisis, the membership feels it is necessary to revise our position and cancel all athletic related activities for the spring,” Schaus said. “The health and safety of student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans is of utmost importance and discontinuing all activities is prudent and necessary.

“My heart breaks for those student-athletes who will not get the opportunity to compete in Southern Conference regular-season and championship events this year as well as some potentially in NCAA championships. However, protecting their health will always be most important and supporting their welfare our hallmark.

“I am proud of our Southern Conference institutions on how we have worked together during this crisis. This has certainly been challenging, with more to come, but I know that we will persevere and return to future excellence.”

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved.