BATON ROUGE, La. – The SWAC prioritized safety when the conference pushed fall sports to the spring, and even though Commissioner Charles McClelland knows how badly the south needs football, he won’t risk anyone’s health for the sport.
“In the south more specifically, we are football people, but I can tell you very intently I have a two-and-a-half year old at the house. There was no way I was going to put her in jeopardy in any form or fashion. I have a son at Jackson State and another at Texas Southern. If I’m not going to put them in jeopardy, I’m not going to put anybody else in jeopardy,” McClelland said.
Next year’s football schedule magnifies crossover season with both winter and spring sports playing at the same time, but McClelland already has an idea of how to navigate the hopefully busy time in SWAC sports.
“We think it’s going to be exciting, but with proper scheduling, it will allow us to make sure that we don’t over schedule. If we have a basketball game on campus, there’s a great possibility that football game will be at a visiting institution and/or moving it to a Thursday or a Friday night,” McClelland furthered.
Above all else, pushing the games to early 2021 will give the conference a fighting chance to have fans in the stands. The decision will still depend on how the country handles the pandemic, but the SWAC is hoping to have crowds come next year.
“If you look at the plan we put out, it talks about an eight-week acclimatization period starting in January. That means we still start games probably the end of February, beginning of March so that even gives us a larger window in order for us to get this pandemic under control.”
The commissioner is still looking to have fans for both the Bayou Classic and State Fair Classic during the 2021 spring season.
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