Virginia Football will need to find a new team to play to open the season as VMI and the Southern Conference (SoCon) have postponed sports for the fall as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Cavaliers and Keydets were scheduled to play in Charlottesville on Friday, September 11.
“We support and respect the SoCon decision regarding fall sports,” VMI Athletics Director Dr. Dave Diles said in the official SoCon release. “The health and safety of our cadet-athletes and staff is our top priority as we deal with this pandemic. We will focus our efforts to an efficient and orderly transition to spring 2021 competition. There’s not a better school in the country that can prepare our cadet-athletes for adversity and to overcome obstacles and VMI will adapt and put forth a plan that will move us forward.”
The SoCon joins the Mid-American, Mountain West, Big Ten, and Pac-12 as conferences that have canceled or postponed fall sports. Old Dominion, UConn, UMass, and New Mexico State have also said they are not playing.
The ACC, SEC, and Big 12 have decided to push forward with trying to hold a fall football season, but NCAA President Mark Emmert announced Thursday afternoon that there would be no fall NCAA Championships. With more than 50% of schools not participating, Emmert said it’s not possible to crown a champion. This affects men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, field hockey, water polo, and cross country. FBS is not affected as the College Football Playoff determines the champion.
Emmert also emphasized that the focus must be on the winter and spring athletes since they already had a season lost in early 2020 when the virus first struck.
"We cannot, at this point, have fall NCAA championships."— Inside the NCAA (@InsidetheNCAA) August 13, 2020
NCAA President Mark Emmert discusses the latest developments in fall sports and looks ahead to winter and spring championships.
Hear more on the NCAA Social Series TONIGHT at 7 p.m. ET from @NCAA. pic.twitter.com/DpuIdqQrhj
As of right now, Virginia’s game against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg is the first game of the season.