Thursday morning, the Southland Conference announced its plans to postpone fall sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic and look in to potentially playing them in the spring semester.
“The Board concluded that an entire fall sports season is not likely, and that a postponement to spring can provide the important opportunities our teams annually seek,” Southland Conference Commissioner Tom Burnett said in a news release. “While disappointed that we won’t be playing these sports in the Southland’s 58th year of fall competition, we look forward to a unique spring season of athletics that also includes NCAA postseason opportunities.”
The conference also announced that its member school could seek limited fall competition, but the New Orleans region’s Southland competitors, Nicholls State, Southeastern and UNO have all announced they would not play any fall sports including football.
“The Southland Conference Board of Directors voted yesterday to postpone our fall competition season to the spring," Southeastern Director of Athletics Jay Artigues said in a new release. "Southeastern Louisiana Athletics supports our league's decision. Our student-athletes' safety and well-being is first and foremost. We're prepared for an exciting and busy spring."
Nicholls State’s athletic director also released a statement regarding it’s school’s choice to not seek outside opponents.
"Our priority has always been to provide the safest environment coupled with the best learning experience possible for our student-athletes,” Nicholls Athletic Director Jonathan Terrell said. “We are in unprecedented times and that has brought some very difficult decisions. We will use this semester to focus even more heavily on the academic engagement of our students and head into spring competitions smarter and better prepared. We won't lose sight of the great success this athletic program has made and look to add more championship trophies to our list."
UNO’s men's and women's cross country and volleyball as well as preseason golf and tennis events.
"Over the past few months, I have been in close contact with Dr. Nicklow, the Athletics Executive Team, and our head coaches. I am proud to say we are all in alignment with the decision to postpone fall sports here at the University of New Orleans,” UNO athletic director Tim Duncan said. “We think moving the current fall sports season to the spring will allow us additional time to plan those competitions in the absolute safest manner for our 191 student-athletes."