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Mid-South Conference revises football schedules for 2020; Georgetown (Ky.) to play Pikeville twice

Mid-South Conference Commissioner Eric Ward has announced that the league will revise its football schedule for the upcoming season, following return to play guidelines established by the NAIA.

NAIA President Jim Carr’s announcement on June 4 regarding return to play guidelines for all fall sports has necessitated a schedule adjustment for all Mid-South Conference football teams. As recommended by the conference Football Oversight Committee and approved by the football athletic directors and head coaches, the conference schedule will officially begin on Sept. 12 with all 22 teams in action.

The Mid-South Conference has revised its football schedules for the upcoming season.

“The Mid-South Conference football athletic directors and head coaches have vetted and approved a revised 2020 conference football schedule,” Ward said. “With the lingering uncertainty regarding many of the details surrounding a return to play in the fall, our conference leadership, in accordance with the NAIA guidelines, felt it would be prudent to move forward with a contingency plan for football, the sport with the largest student-athlete participation and the most procedural complexities from the start of preseason practice thru completion of the regular season schedule.

“Our schools will face a number of challenges this fall, and the revised football schedule will make some of those challenges easier for our members to address.”

Ward, along with the MSC Football Oversight Committee — comprised of two athletic directors from each of the three conference divisions — sought a plan that would fit within the NAIA guidelines, but most importantly consider the well-being of the student-athletes while also being mindful of the potential fiscal challenges of Mid-South Conference institutions in the wake of COVID-19.

“The reasons this change in scheduling was deemed necessary are primarily two-fold,” Ward said. “First and foremost, we are committed to and 100 percent focused on the safety, health and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and staff. Pushing the conference start date back to September 12 gives our coaches more time to get student-athletes acclimated and assess and focus on their appropriate physical conditioning after such a long, unprecedented period with no supervised work-outs.

“A later start will also help accommodate a later-than-usual initial reporting date for football due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the preparations that our campuses are making in anticipation of a return to in-person instruction this fall.”

Campbellsville will play at Pikeville on Oct. 3.

“The second reason for the scheduling change was out of concern for the fiscal health of our member institutions,” Ward added. “The COVID-19 pandemic has and will continue to place financial pressures on our members, whether due to increased costs and/or restricted revenues as a result of adherence to state and local guidelines for appropriate testing and prevention of the spread of the virus on their campuses and in their local communities.

“The revised schedule dramatically reduces travel for all teams, which means fewer hours riding on buses, fewer nights in hotels, and fewer meals in restaurants. Conference leadership felt it was important that we anticipate some sort of alteration or interruption in these and possibly other facets of team travel, particularly when considering the various states where our schools are located and the different responses and guidelines within each.”

Following multiple web-conferencing discussions, Ward presented the committee’s proposal to all football-participating athletic directors and coaches. A vote of approval from the athletic directors soon followed.

Teams will play primarily within their divisions in 2020, including playing some opponents in a home-and-home series. Only one of the games — as determined by the conference — will be considered a divisional game and count towards the divisional standings.

Ward said he is incredibly proud of how everyone worked together to find a solution under difficult circumstances.

“I want to especially thank our athletic directors and head football coaches for their leadership and spirit of cooperation through this process,” Ward said. “Making decisions in a crisis situation with 22 member-institutions can be like trying to turn a battleship in a bathtub.

“Instead we found that our athletic directors and coaches were all eager and willing to work together to find a solution to the challenges that we all will face in getting our teams back on the field and keeping them on the field this fall.”

2020 Mid-South Conference football schedules

Sept. 12

St. Andrews (N.C.) @ Bluefield (Va.)
Faulkner (Ala.) @ Reinhardt (Ga.)
Kentucky Christian @ Union (Ky.)
St. Thomas (Fla.) @ Point (Ga.)
Bethel (Tenn.) @ Cumberland (Tenn.)
Campbellsville @ Lindsey Wilson
Cumberlands (Ky.) @ Pikeville
Thomas More @ Georgetown (Ky.)
Ave Maria (Fla.) @ Southeastern (Fla.)
Keiser (Fla.) @ Florida Memorial
Warner (Fla.) @ Webber International (Fla.)

Sept. 19

Bluefield (Va.) @ Kentucky Christian
Point (Ga.) @ Faulkner (Ala.)
Reinhardt (Ga.) @ St. Andrews (N.C.)
Lindsey Wilson @ Bethel (Tenn.)
Cumberland (Tenn.) @ Campbellsville
Cumberlands (Ky.) @ Thomas More
Pikeville @ Georgetown (Ky.)
Florida Memorial @ Ave Maria (Fla.)
Southeastern (Fla.) @ St. Thomas (Fla.)
Webber International (Fla.) @ Keiser (Fla.)

Sept. 26

*Faulkner (Ala.) @ Union (Ky.)
*St. Andrews (N.C.) @ Kentucky Christian
*Pikeville (Ky.) @ Bethel (Tenn.)
*Campbellsville @ Thomas More
*Cumberland (Tenn.) @ Cumberlands (Ky.)
*Lindsey Wilson @ Georgetown (Ky.)
*Florida Memorial @ Webber International (Fla.)
*Keiser (Fla.) @ St. Thomas (Fla.)
*Warner (Fla.) @ Ave Maria (Fla.)

Oct. 3

*Point (Ga.) @ Bluefield (Va.)
*Faulkner (Ala.) @ Kentucky Christian
*Reinhardt (Ga.) @ Union (Ky.)
*Bethel (Tenn.) @ Thomas More
*Campbellsville @ Pikeville
*Cumberlands (Ky.) @ Lindsey Wilson
*Georgetown (Ky.) @ Cumberland (Tenn.)
*Florida Memorial @ Keiser (Fla.)
Warner (Fla.) @ St. Thomas (Fla.)
*Webber International (Fla.) @ Southeastern (Fla.)

Oct. 10

*Kentucky Christian @ Bluefield (Va.)
*Union (Ky.) @ Point (Ga.)
*St. Andrews (N.C.) @ Reinhardt (Ga.)
*Bethel (Tenn.) @ Campbellsville
*Georgetown (Ky.) @ Cumberlands (Ky.)
*Thomas More (Ky.) @ Cumberland (Tenn.)
*Pikeville @ Lindsey Wilson
*Ave Maria (Fla.) @ Webber International (Fla.)
*Keiser (Fla.) @ Southeastern (Fla.)
*St. Thomas (Fla.) @ Florida Memorial

Oct. 17

*Bluefield (Va.) @ St. Andrews (N.C.)
*Reinhardt (Ga.) @ Faulkner (Ala.)
*Kentucky Christian @ Point (Ga.)
*Cumberlands (Ky.) @ Bethel (Tenn.)
*Campbellsville @ Georgetown (Ky.)
*Lindsey Wilson @ Cumberland (Tenn.)
*Thomas More @ Pikeville
*Florida Memorial @ Warner (Fla.)
*Southeastern (Fla.) @ Ave Maria (Fla.)
*Webber International (Fla.) @ St. Thomas (Fla.)

Oct. 24

*Reinhardt (Ga.) @ Bluefield (Va.)
*Faulkner (Ala.) @ Point (Ga.)
*Union (Ky.) @ St. Andrews (N.C.)
*Bethel (Tenn.) @ Georgetown (Ky.)
*Cumberlands (Ky.) @ Campbellsville
*Cumberland (Tenn.) @ Pikeville
*Thomas More @ Lindsey Wilson
*Ave Maria (Fla.) @ Florida Memorial
*Warner (Fla.) @ Keiser (Fla.)
*St. Thomas (Fla.) @ Southeastern (Fla.)

Oct. 31

*Bluefield (Va.) @ Union (Ky.)
*St. Andrews (N.C.) @ Faulkner (Ala.)
*Kentucky Christian @ Reinhardt (Ga.)
*Cumberland (Tenn.) @ Bethel (Tenn.)
*Lindsey Wilson @ Campbellsville
*Pikeville @ Cumberlands (Ky.)
*Georgetown (Ky.) @ Thomas More
*Keiser (Fla.) @ Webber International (Fla.)
*Southeastern (Fla.) @ Warner (Fla.)
*St. Thomas (Fla.) @ Ave Maria (Fla.)

Nov. 7

*Bluefield (Va.) @ Faulkner (Ala.)
*Union (Ky.) @ Kentucky Christian
*Point (Ga.) @ St. Andrews (N.C.)
*Bethel (Tenn.) @ Lindsey Wilson
*Campbellsville @ Cumberland (Tenn.)
*Thomas More @ Cumberlands (Ky.)
*Georgetown (Ky.) @ Pikeville
*Ave Maria (Fla.) @ Keiser (Fla.)
*Southeastern (Fla.) @ Florida Memorial
*Webber International (Fla.) @ Warner (Fla.)

Nov. 14

Union (Ky.) @ Bluefield (Va.)
*Point (Ga.) @ Reinhardt (Ga.)
*St. Thomas (Fla.) @ Warner (Fla.)

From Mid-South Conference

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