The Department of Athletics is actively pursuing an independent schedule following the Southland conference’s decision to postpone all fall sports for the spring semester Thursday.
With the announcement, ACU football has no games scheduled for its season. The season-opener against Texas A&M was canceled July 30 following the SEC’s decision to move conference-only for the fall. Meanwhile, its matchup against Southern Utah was canceled Friday after the Big Sky conference postponed its season.
“We’re facing a very different outcome than we hoped,” Southland conference commissioner Tom Burnett said Thursday. “We regret this outcome. However, we are comforted that these decisions were made with the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and extended groups in mind.”
Despite the conference’s decision to postpone fall competition, ACU will look elsewhere to fill an empty schedule.
“While we certainly understand the Southland Conference’s decision to postpone fall sports, it is disappointing for our student-athletes,” Phil Schubert, president of the university, said Thursday. “All universities may not be positioned to meet testing and safety protocols, but ACU is fully prepared to meet all NCAA health and safety mandates, as well as state and local guidelines. We believe our student-athletes deserve to compete, and it’s in their best interest, as long as they can do so safely.”
The Department of Athletics has been in contact with several teams for all fall sports to help rebuild a schedule.
“Anticipating this decision might be forthcoming, I have been in consultation with Dr. Schubert about ACU’s desire to potentially play an independent schedule this fall,” Allen Ward, Director of Athletics, said Thursday. “As reflected in his statement, it’s ACU’s position that our student-athletes deserve the opportunity to compete. There are a lot of moving pieces that will influence this possibility, but I continue to pursue and evaluate what options still exist.”
While no games have been released, Ward confirmed that he has been in contact with several FBS and FCS schools about potentially playing.
“There are a number of conferences in our geographic footprint that remain committed to playing this fall,” Ward said. “We are having conversations with a number of those teams to gauge mutual interest and alignment of health and safety measures.”
Ward is hopeful that there will a portion of a schedule released within the next 10-14 days.
“An opt-out provision is available for those who decide to wait,” Schubert said. “We will continue to monitor the landscape closely and are exploring opportunities to play other universities so our student-athletes can compete this fall.”