BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (News release) — The University at Pine Bluff will not be playing sports in the fall after the Southwestern Athletic Conference announced the postponement of all scheduled fall sports along with SWAC championships due to continuing concerns related to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
UAPB Chancellor Dr. Laurence B. Alexander released a statement after the announcement was made.
“The decision to postpone fall athletics was difficult, but it was the best decision for the SWAC,” said UAPB Chancellor Dr. Laurence B. Alexander. “Athletics is such an important part of the activities, traditions and life of the university and our student-athletes. However, our foremost concern must be the health, safety, and welfare of our student-athletes.”
The fall sports impacted include men’s and women’s cross country, football, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball. The conference has started the process of formalizing plans to conduct a competitive schedule for the fall sports during the 2021 spring semester.
They announced that they plan to move football to a seven-game conference schedule beginning with an eight-week training period in January 2021. Each member institution will play a total of six conference games (four divisional/two non-divisional) with the option to play one non-conference game.
“Today, the very difficult decision was made by the Southwestern Athletic Conference and the league’s Council of Presidents and Chancellors to postpone fall semester competitions due to on-going effects of Covid-19,” said UAPB Vice Chancellor / Director of Athletics Chris Peterson. “The safety and well-being of our student-athletes is the top priority of the University of Arkansas At Pine Bluff, as well as for our fellow member institutions and SWAC leadership. While we know this brings disappointment to everyone in Golden Lion Nation, we carry the optimistic expectation of an exciting spring football season and fall sports competitions in 2021.”