Jan 13, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Detailed view of the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship logo on the field at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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Big South postpones fall sports, gives football 4-game option

The Big South became the latest conference on Wednesday to postpone fall sports with hopes of playing in the spring — but with a twist when it comes to football.

While the delay applies to men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball, football programs will be allowed to schedule as many as four nonconference games this fall at their discretion.

The Big South football members voted on that condition.

“We are all brokenhearted that we will not be able to provide competitive opportunities for Big South student-athletes this fall,” commissioner Kyle Kallander said. “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.”

Big South schools also many continue with athletic training as permitted by the NCAA.

At least one team intends to try to play the four non-conference games. That’s North Alabama, which as of Monday afternoon had four games listed on the schedule on the school website: at Western Illinois (Sept. 3), Jacksonville State (Sept. 13), at Tennessee-Chattanooga (Sept. 19) and at BYU (Nov. 21).

“Our plan is to look at all of our options and hopefully have the chance to play a full slate of games, combining the fall and spring,” said Mark Linder, athletic director at North Alabama. “One of the biggest concerns of our players is not having the opportunity to play a full schedule. This plan provides the ultimate flexibility, to play four non-conference games in the fall and the Big South schedule in the spring.”

–Field Level Media

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