The earliest Newberry College will kick off the 2020 football season will be September 26 after the South Atlantic Conference announced all fall sports will not begin competition until that final Saturday in September.
This also includes men's and women's cross country, field hockey, men's and women's soccer, and volleyball.
The fall sports schedules will also be conference-only competition and teams may begin preseason practice, per NCAA bylaws, for these sports during the fall 2020 semester, provided health and safety conditions allow these activities to take place.
"The decision to delay the fall sports season was not an easy one to make," said Dr. Maurice Scherrens of Newberry, Chair of the SAC Presidents Council.
"However, we feel this is the best course of action as it allows our institutions time to develop best practices for a safe return to campus and competition for our student-athletes. We will continue to assess the ever-changing situation, as we are dedicated to ensuring our student-athletes the opportunity to return to campus in the safest environment possible."
Fall competition schedules for the spring championship sports of baseball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's lacrosse, softball, and men's and women's tennis may also not begin prior to Sept. 26. In regard to the 2020-2021 winter sports of men's and women's basketball and men's and women's indoor track and field and wrestling, those seasons remain unchanged at this time.
"This was a very difficult decision, but one we feel has the best interest of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and fans in mind," SAC Commissioner Patrick Britz stated.
"We all understand the desire everyone has to get back out there and play games, but the health and safety of our student-athletes take precedence over playing at this time. It is our responsibility to ensure their safety above all else. While this does not guarantee our fall sports will be able to compete during their traditional season, a delayed start gives us the best chance to continue to monitor the situation."
Newberry College was scheduled to open the season September 5 at home against non-conference foe North Greenville. The following Saturday, the Wolves were set to play Lenoir-Rhyne in their opening game in the South Atlantic Conference. So this announcement means the 2020 football schedule for Newberry College and the rest of the fall sports teams in the SAC is officially fluid.