Great American Conference delays start date of fall 2020 athletic competitions to Sept. 28

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RUSSELLVILLE, Ark.- The Great American Conference (GAC) Council of Presidents approved a plan to delay the start of all college athletic practices until August 31 and delay competition until the week of September 28.

Arkansas Tech, University of Arkansas at Monticello, Harding, Henderson State University, Ouachita Baptist Univerity and Southern Arkansas University are in the GAC.

According to the Great American Conference website, teams will play the current GAC schedule grids when games in resume in September.

GAC officials say they plan to reschedule the games not played on the existing schedule.

“This plan creates additional time to craft a safe and meaningful championship season for our student-athletes,” GAC Commissioner Will Prewitt said. “It affords our members the ability to open their campuses for in-person learning and allows additional time for student-athletes to acclimate back to full athletic activity.”

Officials say they will continue to consult with campus medical professionals, outside consultants and local public health officials to monitor the playing conditions during the reopening of campuses.

“Our leadership has worked hard to find a path forward and join other NCAA Division II conferences that intend to compete this fall,” Prewitt said. “I’m cautiously optimistic about the return of GAC competition, but work remains to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes, their families, coaches, and administrators.”

GAC administrators and the Council of Presidents will meet weekly to address developments as they arise.

“The GAC Council of Presidents share a united voice in the decision we made today as we continue to search for ways to allow our student athletes to compete safely during this most challenging year,” said Harding President and GAC Council of Presidents Chairman Dr. Bruce McLarty. “This decision keeps hope alive that we will be able to compete this year. The safety of our students, our campuses, and the communities in which we live remains our top priority.”


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