RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. - The Great American Conference announced a delay to the start of all intercollegiate athletic practices until the week of Aug. 31, and the start of competition until the week of Sept. 28.
This parallels the MIAA announcement from earlier last week. Men's Soccer is the only FHSU sport affected by this announcement, as it is now under the guidance of the Great American Conference after the GAC and MIAA partnered to make an eight-team conference in men's soccer prior to the 2019 season. FHSU is a member of the MIAA in all other sports.
With the latest announcement, all FHSU fall sports are slated to begin the week starting Sept. 28. For men's soccer, the first game of the season will now be on Oct. 3 at Newman University. The first four games of the season are eliminated from the schedule. The men's soccer season now stands at 10 regular season games.
"Our leadership has worked hard to find a path forward and join other NCAA Division II conferences that intend to compete this fall," Prewitt said. "I'm cautiously optimistic about the return of GAC competition, but work remains to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes, their families, coaches, and administrators."
The council has the ability to adjust its recommendation as necessary to protect the health and safety of all involved in GAC athletics. Conference administrators and the council of presidents will both meet weekly to address developments as they arise.
"The GAC Council of Presidents share a united voice in the decision we made today as we continue to search for ways to allow our student athletes to compete safely during this most challenging year," said Harding President and GAC Council of Presidents Chairman Dr. Bruce McLarty. "This decision keeps hope alive that we will be able to compete this year. The safety of our students, our campuses, and the communities in which we live remains our top priority."