CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Big South became the latest conference to delay their fall sports season on Wednesday. But Charleston Southern’s football team could still take the field in the coming months.
The conference announced they are delaying all fall sports because of the COVID-19 pandemic which includes football, volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country and soccer. The hope is to move competition in these sports to the spring.
The biggest difference is that the Big South also voted to allow football teams to play four non-conference games during the fall at the discretion of each school. The Buccaneers currently have non-conference games set against The Citadel, Furman and Mercer with the hope to add 1 more money game against a Power 5 school.
“We are all disappointed that our fall championship season is being suspended and look forward to competing again as soon as possible.” CSU AD Jeff Barber said in a statement. “Along with prayerful consideration, all decisions on our return to play will be based on the safety, health and well-being of our student-athletes as that is always the foundation of our decisions. I also wish to thank Commissioner Kyle Kallander for his strong leadership during this difficult time.”
“We are all broken-hearted that we will not be able to provide competitive opportunities for Big South student-athletes this fall,” commented Commissioner Kyle Kallander. “However, the path forward must protect the health and safety of our student-athletes, and some of the current trends and unknowns with COVID-19 have made that a huge challenge. Our intention is to shift these fall seasons to the spring as we would like nothing more than to crown Big South champions in all 19 of our sports this year.”
“In light of the decision this morning from our conference in regard to football in the fall we would like to first acknowledge the continued exceptional leadership by our conference commissioner Kyle Kallander and his entire staff at The Big South Conference.” CSU head football coach Autry Denson said. “Their ability to boldly lead, while still allowing each university to maintain a healthy sense of autonomy is outstanding. As for the Charleston Southern Football ministry we have stated from the beginning that we have a desire to safely play football in the fall, if it is feasible. At this time we will use the next few days to meet with leadership in athletics as well as on campus, which includes our President, Athletic Director, Coaches, and our student-athletes to ensure that we make decisions that are in the best interest of everyone. We are trusting God, taking all the necessary precautions, but being even more intentional to lead during these uncertain times by following Christ. Ultimately, this is God’s plan on His timing, for His glory, so we want to be good stewards of the vision He has for us moving forward. Go Bucs!”
Big South member institutions may continue with permissible athletics activities, as defined by NCAA regulations and with the exception of fall sport competition, at their own discretion and in accordance with applicable local and state regulations and procedures.