The impacts of the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s postponement of fall athletics is being felt at local universities.
At Alabama A&M, the shift to a spring season means that the football program is losing “money games” it had scheduled with UAB and Mississippi State.
Athletic Director Bryan Hicks said the loss of these games will impact other sports “in some way.” So the athletic department is going to have to get creative to ensure that teams can play this spring.
"I think it can be done, might have to change the format, the number of contests, but I think we can provide all our student athletes that missed a sport an opportunity, maybe not to the extent as it would be in the fall, but some type of way,” Hicks said.
The school is still going to have to fundraise to offset the losses. Hicks said they are getting creative with their revenue streams, likely leading to them doing new things.
“Nothing’s off the table,” he said.
Hicks said this is setting up an “all hands on deck” spring for athletics where a year's worth of sports could all be held at once.
“It’s going to be absolutely insane, even with the limited schedules,” he said. “I’ve already talked with my staff and I’m talking to all of my coaches a little bit and I think they’re going to have some extra duties, too.”
Classes are set to begin at AAMU on August 17. Hicks said the university will evaluate how to handle getting athletes back on campus based on the current state of the pandemic.
Student athletes will be tested prior to arriving on campus and then again once on campus, followed by daily screenings, according to Hicks.
“But first thing’s first, we gotta get the health and safety of the student athlete and get this pandemic under control,” he said.