On Monday, the Southwestern Athletic Conference decided to push all of their fall sports into the spring semester due to the impact of COVID-19. This information comes as the SWAC council of presidents and chancellors voted virtually on the decision this week.

SWAC commissioner Charles McClelland said he is aiming to start league play “towards the end of February or the beginning of March.”

For the state of Alabama, this means The Magic City Classic, traditionally between the Alabama A&M Bulldogs and the Alabama State University Hornets, has been postponed until the spring. The historic matchup was slated to be played October 31 at Legion Field in Birmingham.

The last suspension of play for The Classic came in the years 1943 and 1944 as the United States was heavily involved in the height of World War II.

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In a statement about the fall cancelations, the SWAC elaborated on their plans to play their football season:

“Specifically, in the sport of football the plan includes a seven-game conference schedule beginning with an eight-week training period in January 2021. Each member institution will play a total of six conference games (four divisional/two non-divisional) with the option to play one non-conference game.”

“The SWAC Council of Presidents and Chancellors felt this action was necessary out of growing concern for the health, safety and well-being both mentally and physically of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, team staff, campus faculty, fans and supporters."

This change brings more scheduling conflicts to the state of Alabama as multiple  schools have in-state matchups scheduled with both the Bulldogs and the Hornets in their 2020-2021 seasons.

Other universities in the state of Alabama, including Miles College, Tuskegee University, and Birmingham-Southern College have all had their fall seasons canceled or postponed due to the decisions of their respective conferences.

The Auburn Tigers had Alcorn State slated to open their season in Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 5. For Alabama A&M, this means their non-conference meetings with both University of Alabama-Birmingham and Mississippi State University have been postponed.

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