ROCK HILL, S.C. --- The South Atlantic Conference Presidents Council has made the decision to begin intercollegiate competition in men's and women's basketball for the 2020-21 season on November 21.
Basketball teams will also be permitted to begin full team practices on Thursday, October 22. The start date of other winter sports (indoor track and field, swimming and diving and wrestling) will be up to each institution's discretion.
"While we realize we are not out of the woods completely, the pandemic situation has improved and we feel confident in our abilities to allow our student-athletes to compete in a safe environment," said Dr. Maurice Scherrens of Newberry, Chair of the SAC Presidents Council. "Starting basketball will be a good opportunity for us as a league to test out our protocols and procedures to make sure we are fully prepared for fall, winter, and spring sports to be played during the 2021 spring semester."
The SAC men's and women's basketball teams will play a 20-game conference schedule with the opportunity for teams to play an additional two non-conference opponents, if teams choose to.
"Our schools have been able to conduct in-person classes and practice activities this fall, and while there have been positive cases and other issues, they have been able to manage them effectively," SAC Commissioner Patrick Britz stated. "The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and fans is still our top priority, but we are confident that we can begin playing some basketball games in November and prepare for all of our sports to compete in the spring semester."
The SAC leadership will continue to assess the NCAA, federal, state, and local developments and provide updated revisions as further information is available, including as restrictions on spectator attendance at games.
The Tusculum men's team is coming off a 19-13 campaign and advanced to the semifinal round of the SAC Championship. The TU women accounted for a 24-7 record and are the defending SAC Tournament Champions.
The Tusculum men's and women's basketball schedules will be updated in the coming weeks on TusculumPioneers.com.