Southern Conference cancels athletic events through end of semester

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SPARTANBURG, South Carolina (41NBC/WMGT) – The Southern Conference, which includes Mercer University, has canceled all athletics-related activities for the rest of the 2019-20 academic year, including competition, championships, organized practices and meetings according to a news release sent by the conference on Tuesday.

Commissioner Jim Schaus says the decision was made due to the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With the recent developments during this unprecedented coronavirus crisis, the membership feels it is necessary to revise our position and cancel all athletic related activities for the spring,” Schaus said. “The health and safety of student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans is of utmost importance and discontinuing all activities is prudent and necessary.

“My heart breaks for those student-athletes who will not get the opportunity to compete in Southern Conference regular-season and championship events this year as well as some potentially in NCAA championships. However, protecting their health will always be most important and supporting their welfare our hallmark.

“I am proud of our Southern Conference institutions on how we have worked together during this crisis. This has certainly been challenging, with more to come, but I know that we will persevere and return to future excellence.”