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Peach Belt Conference will delay the start of fall intercollegiate sports until October

From Staff Reports

 

AUGUSTA, GA– The Peach Belt Conference (PBC) announced on Wednesday afternoon that all fall competition will be delayed until Oct 1. This decision will affect the Georgia Southwestern State University men’s and women’s soccer and cross country programs. In addition, the GSW men’s golf and women’s tennis teams will have to postpone any fall events until Thursday, October 1. Both programs have the championship portion of their schedules in the spring.

The unanimous decision was made by the PBC Board of Directors, which is comprised of the presidents and chancellors of the league’s institutions.

“We are consistently and conscientiously evaluating recommendations and guidelines from the NCAA, CDC, our state university systems and local governments,” said USC Aiken Chancellor Dr. Sandra Jordan, Chair of the PBC Board of Directors. “The NCAA is recommending weekly testing and point of contact antigen testing and at this moment, those tests are not readily available. Thus, we feel that delaying the start of the season until October, when we anticipate more testing options, is the best course of action and will allow us to embrace best practices. We will reassess as the need arises, but remain dedicated to returning our student-athletes to competition when it is reasonable to do so.”

“This was a very difficult decision for the Board to reach,” said PBC commissioner David Brunk. “They understand the desire of all student-athletes to get back on the field and play. However, unlike attending university classes, student-athletes are at greater risk because sports are high contact in nature. Since there are still significant health and well-being concerns that exist with the COVID-19 pandemic that must take precedence at this time, the health and safety of our student-athletes is one of our fundamental responsibilities, one which we take very seriously, and those considerations have to come first.”

Over the next several weeks, the PBC will announce more information about fall schedules, fall PBC Tournaments, practice start dates and spring sports activity in their non-championship segment.