Southern Athletic Association suspends fall sports, includes Centre College

Winter sports of swimming and diving, women's basketball and men's basketball will not compete against outside competition prior to January 1.

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DANVILLE, Ky. – The Southern Athletic Association (SAA) Presidents’ Council – which includes Centre’s Dr. Milton Moreland – voted this week to suspend all athletic competitions until at least January 1, 2021.

In conjunction with the SAA announcement, Centre will also not be participating in any non-conference competition this fall.

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Moreland released the College’s plan for returning to campus this fall on Wednesday, which includes policies limiting college travel as well as visitors to campus. Considering measures to keep Centre students, faculty and staff as safe as possible, the decision was made that athletics competition cannot take place this fall. Centre continues to work with local, regional, and national health professions on a daily basis, as well as all campus offices, to develop our health and safety plans for the coming semester.

“This regrettable action comes after months of discussions by our member institutions on how we might responsibly and safely implement the resocialization of intercollegiate sport on our campuses,” Moreland said. “With the data we have in hand at this time, the conclusion reached by our presidents is that it is in the best interest of our student-athletes to push our fall competitions to the spring.”

The affected fall sports include football, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, field hockey, volleyball, cheerleading, and men’s and women’s cross country. Winter sports of swimming and diving, women’s basketball and men’s basketball will not compete against outside competition prior to January 1. Spring sports that compete over fall and spring, such as golf and tennis, will also wait until January 1 for outside competition.

Brad Fields ’98, Director of Athletics and Recreation: “As I said in a recent email to our student-athletes, we miss each of them, terribly. The joy that is found in my life’s work, and that of our dedicated coaches and staff, is them. We are fortunate to be able to use sport to speak into the lives of the young people that come our way, to teach and mentor, and to learn together. Our current crisis stripped away our in-person opportunities starting on March 12 and continuing to this day. We eagerly await the day when they return to campus.

“We remain fully committed to finding every possible way to provide meaningful opportunities for our student-athletes while ensuring careful attention to their health and safety. The College recognizes their experience as student-athletes as a foundational piece of their Centre education, for 2020-21 and beyond.

“While uncertainty dominates the current day, it will be but for a short while as I remain ever more optimistic of the bright future of Centre College and our athletic programs. We will battle through this adversity and be a closer, stronger team on the other side.”

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com