Report: SWAC becomes first Texan league to postpone football

By Jim Klenke

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UPDATE (June 20, 2020): The SWAC has announced plans to postpone fall sports – including football. The league becomes the first in Texas that will play football in the spring. 

The SWAC plans would feature a seven-game schedule with six conference games, and would have a chance to schedule one nonconference game. 

In addition to football, the decision impacts cross country, women's soccer and women's volleyball. Those sports will also be rescheduled in the spring. 

The SWAC becomes the second league to push football from the fall in Texas, following the Division-III SAA. At this time, the SWAC is the only league set to play football in the spring in Texas.

The move would still impact seven nonconference games involving Texas schools, including games with Texas Tech, UTSA and TCU.

Original (June 17, 2020): The Southwestern Athletic Conference will announce plans to cancel all fall sports on Monday – including football – according to a report by Stadium’s Brett McMurphy.

SWAC commissioner Charles McClelland denied the report to Chris Demirdjian of KTVE in Monroe, La.

The SWAC, which includes Texas Southern and Prairie View A&M, would become the first Texan football league to cancel college football. To this point, every other league has taken a wait-and-see approach. None of the other Division-I leagues in Texas have even reverted to a conference-only schedule yet.

However, the SWAC would become just the latest league to cancel football. The other major HBCU league – the MEAC – announced plans to cancel football on Thursday. The Colonial Athletic Association ranks among the top leagues in FCS, and it decided to close its doors on Thursday as well. 

The Division-III SAA became the first Texan league to officially cancel fall sports on Thursday night — Austin College and Trinity both participate in the league.

The decision comes as the COVID-19 pandemic explodes around the country, especially in Texas. The Houston area, where both Texas Southern and Prairie View A&M are located, ranks among the hottest spots globally in virus growth. On Friday, Texas became the fourth state with 300,000 confirmed COVID cases, including a record 14,780 cases and 149 deaths.

While only two Texan schools play in the SWAC, there is a trickle-down effect across Texas college football. TCU, Texas Tech and UTSA rank among the FBS teams with scheduled SWAC games. Seven nonconference games in all from FBS to D-II are impacted.

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