FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – The University of Saint Francis will move its football schedule to spring 2021 while other sports are expected to have fall competition, according to a release. The NAIA has moved all national championship tournaments for fall sports to spring.
School officials say that all USF competitions will observe updated precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. USF will continue to operate athletic competition under the guidelines and recommendations of the NAIA, the Crossroads League and the Mid-States Football Association.
The football team will have fall practices and possibly a scrimmage, but not official games. Volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer, and men’s and women’s cross country teams are expected to have fall contests as the Crossroads League continues with its plans for those sports. All schedules will be available at saintfranciscougars.com as they are finalized. Changes may continue to occur as conferences and schools update their plans.
“We are committed to providing the safest environment for our student-athletes to compete,” USF Director of Athletics Mike McCaffrey said. “Moving our football schedule to the spring allows us to continue gaining insight and knowledge on how best to do that. We are excited that our student-athletes get the chance to compete this fall in many sports, while also looking toward NAIA championships and a football season in the spring.”
Spectators will be required to wear a face-covering at all indoor events, as well as outdoor events where proper social distancing is not possible. Further procedures for spectators will follow local health department recommendations.
Beginning Aug. 15, student-athletes may practice consistent with any health and safety protocols for all fall sports. Parkview Sports Medicine has provided guidelines for USF to follow for meetings, practices and team activities. NAIA competition start date for all sports except football is Sept. 5. Football start date for competition is Sept. 12.
The NAIA granted conferences autonomy to consider the regional impact of COVID-19 in order to determine the timing of its regular-season competition. The Mid-States Football Association, which includes USF as a member, announced Friday it is moving all league games to the spring.