USF loses opponent for scheduled 2020 home opener

Sports

(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) On the same day that NCAA President Mark Emmert delivered an ominous statement regarding the fall sports season, the USF football team lost its opponent for its scheduled season home opener on September 12.

The Bulls were slated to host Bethune-Cookman at Raymond James Stadium but the Wildcats conference, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, canceled its fall sports season. The decision ends Bethune-Cookman’s 2020 football campaign as well as in-state rival Florida A&M.

USF officials did not comment on the loss of the B-CC matchup but did say the school will explore options to play as many games as possible in a safe manner this season.

USF is still waiting for word on the status of the Big 12 Conference as the Bulls are scheduled to begin the season on the road at Texas on September 5.

The news comes on the same day that the NCAA released its return-to-play guidelines, highlighting the ways universities will test for coronavirus as well as safety strategies.

As it stands, the NCAA is not satisfied with the direction of COVID-19 in the United States, particularly on its campuses, where a number of big programs have endured voluntary workout shutdowns due to Coronavirus outbreaks.

“When we made the extremely difficult decision to cancel last spring’s championships it was because there was simply no way to conduct them safely,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert in a statement. “This document lays out the advice of health care professionals as to how to resume college sports if we can achieve an environment where COVID-19 rates are manageable. Today, sadly, the data point in the wrong direction. If there is to be college sports in the fall, we need to get a much better handle on the pandemic.”

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