Southern Athletic Association suspends fall conference athletic competitions

The Southern Athletic Association (SAA), Oglethorpe’s Division III athletic conference, announced today that all conference athletic competition through the 2020 fall season will be postponed.

PrintOver the last several months, the SAA Presidents’ Council met to weigh the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and to plan for the 2020-21 athletic season.

“The highest priority at each institution is the health and well-being of our campus communities, student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and spectators,” said SAA Commissioner Jay Gardiner. “As the pandemic evolves, the SAA will continue to monitor the situation and intends to resume fall sport competition in early 2021.”

“Collegiate sports is an important part of Oglethorpe’s culture and as much as we had hoped to engage in competition in the fall, the evidence related to providing adequate health and safety made conducting sporting events not feasible,” said Oglethorpe President Nicholas Ladany. “We, of course, are disappointed, however, we remain steadfast in our commitment to optimizing our university experience for everyone and look forward to a more positive future.”

This follows a growing trend for college sports across athletic divisions and conferences. The Oglethorpe Athletics fall teams affected are cross country, soccer, and volleyball. In addition, a portion of the basketball, golf, and tennis seasons will be altered by this decision. Oglethorpe’s non-conference games will also be suspended during the fall semester.

Oglethorpe plans to continue training opportunities for student-athletes, as allowed by the SAA, while adhering to federal and state public health guidelines and NCAA regulations.

“At this time, Oglethorpe plans to hold workouts and non-traditional practices for our student-athletes, while abiding by the recommended guidelines,” said Athletics Director Todd Brooks. “We want to keep our athletes in top shape and ready to compete as soon as advisable.”

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