Peach Belt Conference Announces Update on Fall Semester
AUGUSTA, Ga. – On Wednesday, the Peach Belt Conference announced all fall competition involving cross country, volleyball, and soccer will be delayed until Oct. 1. The unanimous decision was made by the PBC Board of Directors, composed of the presidents and chancellors of the league's 12 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."
Wednesday's decision does not affect men's and women's basketball. A determination concerning those sports will be made at a later date.
"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 wellbeing 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."
Revised schedules for all fall sports will be announced over the next several weeks, as will information about PBC Championships for fall sports. Practice start dates and other guidance regarding sports currently in their non-championship segment will also be released in the coming days.
"We are certainly looking forward to welcoming back all of our student-athletes to campus in the upcoming weeks," added Director of Athletics Todd Reeser. "Our coaches and staff have missed all of them dearly, and we can't wait to focus our efforts on an October start."