July 17 (UPI) — The Atlantic 10 Conference announced Friday that it will postpone its entire fall college sports schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Addressing the immediate return of fall sport student-athletes was the priority in working with every institution’s campus to assure a safe return to school with an opportunity to compete in the winter and spring sports as well as the postponed fall sports competitions,” the conference said in a news release
The postponement impacts men’s and women’s soccer, baseball, softball, lacrosse, cross country, volleyball, golf, tennis, swimming, and diving and rowing.
The Atlantic 10 members are Davidson, Dayton, Duquesne, Fordham, George Mason, George Washington, La Salle, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Richmond, St. Bonaventure, Saint Joseph’s, Saint Louis and Virginia Commonwealth.
The conference said it will conduct a schedule for the fall season in the spring semester of 2021. Atlantic 10 officials agreed to a “lock-in window” in September, which could allow for a shortened, conference-only schedule if COVID-19 risks have been reduced.
Competitive schedules for winter sports Atlantic 10 teams remain unchanged.
The Atlantic 10 is the latest conference to announce either postponed or canceled seasons. The Pac-12 and Big Ten have each said they will play conference-only schedules for fall sports. The SEC and ACC have pushed the start of fall sports seasons — except for football — into September at the earliest.
The Ivy League and the Patriot League have canceled all fall sports seasons due to the pandemic.
The NCAA — the governing body for college sports — on Thursday posted suggested guidelines for schools that will attempt to play football and other fall sports amid the pandemic.
The guidelines featured mandatory testing 72 hours before competitions, a mandatory 14-day quarantine for those who are in close contact with infected people and “universal masking practices.”
“Today, sadly, the data point in the wrong direction,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement. “If there is to be college sports in the fall, we need to get a much better handle on the pandemic.”