SSAC suspends athletic competition until March 25

Loyola's athletic conference, the SSAC, suspends athletic competition until March 25th. Courtesy of SSAC.

Loyola's athletic conference, the SSAC, suspends athletic competition until March 25th. Courtesy of SSAC.

Brendan Heffernan

The Southern States Athletic Conference is suspending all regular season athletic competitions until Wednesday, March 25 amid concerns for the spread of COVID-19 according to conference officials.

“The health and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches, fans and administrators is always our top priority, and we feel this delay will give us time to reassess where things stand in the coming weeks.” said Conference Commissioner Mike Hall.

The announcement comes following the NAIA’s decision to cancel all winter sports championships, including those that were already under way.

“During this unpredictable time, we support the NAIA’s decision to cancel the championships of winter sports. “ said Loyola Athletic Director Brett Simpson, “We also support the Southern States Athletic Conference’s decision to suspend the spring sports currently competing. It’s in the best interests of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and all involved, and safety is our top priority.”

The SSAC is suspending regular season gameplay for team sports like baseball, softball and tennis, while it’s leaving the fate of individual sports like track & field and golf up to the discretion of its member institutions according to conference officials.

The 2020 SSAC Baseball Championship will also be expanded from an 8 team tournament to include all 10 teams to account for those that have to play an uneven number of games following the suspension.

The SSAC 2020 Women’s Golf Championship is being pushed back two weeks and combined with the Men’s Golf Championship. The tournaments will be played April 20-22 to give conference officials more time to evaluate options.