C-USA board approves football timeline, protocols

C-USA board approves football timeline, protocols
Conference USA's teams, including the University of Southern Mississippi, will play and eight-game conference schedule and up to four, non-conference contests. (Source: Southern Miss)

DALLAS, Texas (WDAM) – Conference USA intends to press on and play a full, eight-game conference football schedule this fall, with members able to play as many as four non-conference games as well.

The C-USA Board of Directors approved Friday the league’s timeline and scheduling format for the 2020 football season, as well as operational protocols for returning to play.

“I am pleased with the careful consideration of our board, regarding the health and safety of our student-athletes, as well as their commitment to accountability,” Louisiana Tech University President Lee Guice, who chairs the board.

The University of Southern Mississippi announced a revised, 12-game schedule Thursday, adding non-conference foes Tennessee Tech University and Tulane University to fill a pair of open weeks in the schedule..

The Tech and Tulane games filled vacancies left when Jackson State University and Auburn University were forced to abandon or adjust their schedules at the behest of their conferences.

USM will play seven contests at M.M. Roberts Stadium in one season for the first time ever and seven games in Hattiesburg for the first time since 1920.

The C-USA calendar calls for each of the league's teams to play its eight conference games on their originally scheduled dates.

The first conference game is set for Sept. 12.

Non-conference games may be played at the discretion of individual schools, with the ability to play up to four non-league contests.

The league championship remains scheduled for Dec. 5, with the flexibility of possibly moving later, depending on the need to potentially reschedule regular season games because of the coronavirus.

The board also approved return-to-play safety measures for fall sports, adopting NCAA guidelines and procedures.

All C-USA schools will operate under the same testing standards. Non-conference opponents must adhere to those standards as well.

The board also committed to ensuring the accountability of all athletic programs and affirmed their commitment to follow and actively monitor testing and safety protocols and accurately report testing results.

Additional game operations adjustments also were approved, including limiting access to the playing field in the interest of heightened safety measures.

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