The announcement comes days after the university also canceled its cross-country, soccer and volleyball seasons.
“Our priority is the health and well-being of the entire Southwestern University community. After many conversations and careful analysis, we have made the decision to cancel the 2020 football season,” SU President Laura E. Skandera Trombley said in a news release. “Although the ASC has not announced its plans for conference play this fall, I believe it is in the best interest of Pirate student-athletes to opt out of the season.”
SU joined Texas Lutheran University in the decision.
The two universities, both members of the NCAA Division III, will plan for football intercollegiate contests in the spring semester of the 2020-21 academic year, provided health and safety conditions warrant a return to the sport and a blanket waiver is provided by the NCAA to allow such activity, the release said.
The ASC’s Council of Presidents assured Southwestern and TLU that no penalties or sanctions will be applied to the two universities over this decision, the release said. The ASC’s Council of Presidents also announced that the Southwestern and TLU football programs were welcome to continue in the ASC beyond the fall of 2020 and if the ASC institutes a football schedule for the
2020-21 spring semester, it said.
The ASC has yet to make a conference-wide decision on its fall sports seasons, including football, per the release.
Southwestern and TLU will not be part of any NCAA Football intercollegiate competition in the fall, even if the starts of the NCAA and the ASC’s fall football seasons were to be significantly delayed but ultimately played in the fall semester, the release said.
“The increasing rates of coronavirus infections in Texas and heightened levels of exposure for playing football just pose too great of a risk to our athletes,” SU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Glenn Schwab said in the release. “Southwestern will work with the ASC and SCAC in exploring options for playing football and all other fall sports in a condensed format this spring.”