Friday night the American Southwest Conference announced that fall competition will not take place until the new year. This unprecedented decision will delay cross country, soccer, volleyball, and football.
HSU Athletic Director John Neese said, “I believe 35 of the 46 Division III conferences had made a decision to postpone and push back until the spring. I think we were trying to wait until the last moment to make a decision here.”
McMurry Athletic Director Sam Ferguson said, “There’s no manual for this and I really applaud our conference leadership for making tough decisions that will keep our community safe but also offer a meaningful experience for our scholar athletes.”
Student-athletes at McMurry, Hardin-Simmons, and Howard Payne will all be directly affected by this decision with the expectations that a season and championships will be played in the spring of 2021. They however may not necessarily lose a year of eligibility.
Neese said, “We are playing a 50 percent conference schedule and what that allows us to do is that meets the NCAA’s sports sponsorship and if we stay at 50 percent those student athletes will not burn a season of eligibility.”
If the NCAA decides to rule that championships will take place in the spring, the ASC will play a full schedule with championships and athletes will utilize a season of eligibility that way.
Ferguson said, “We’re looking forward to utilizing the fall to get bigger, faster, stronger, and be poised to compete well this spring when we do have the opportunity.”