JMU not giving up on fall football, despite CAA canceling conference play

CAA could have football in Spring 2021

(Brett Carlsen, 2018 Getty Images)

HARRISONBURG, Va. – While the Colonial Athletic Association will not have football this fall, James Madison University isn’t giving up on a fall season quite yet.

On Friday, the CAA announced its decision to suspend conference play this fall for football.

“The conference expressed a strong commitment to exploring the possibility of conducting a football season during the Spring 2021, and will continue to analyze this scenario as more information becomes available and conditions continue to evolve,” according to a news release.

In response to that decision, JMU announced that it “remains committed to an open exploration of various options for its competitive seasons for all sports in keeping with evolving guidance on health and public safety.”

“The most important takeaway for our JMU constituency is that we are committed to exploring all of our options to provide a championship experience for all of our programs, in keeping with our strong focus on the health and safety of all of our student-athletes and other members of the JMU community.  That includes football as well as other Fall sports,” said athletic director Jeff Bourne said. “While other institutions are facing different timelines and circumstances in making decisions, we are striving to get as much information as possible about the national landscape and public health considerations before making final determinations.  We believe that we have a responsibility to explore all of the possible options at this point in time.  As of now, the FCS Championship schedule has not been changed.  Accordingly, while the majority of CAA institutions have decided not to continue with Fall football, we are currently looking at how to rebuild a schedule for the Fall season while following health and safety protocols and guidance.  We will continue to follow medical guidance and recommendations for our region and university, and to monitor the decisions of the NCAA and CAA with regard to championship timeframes.”

Current planning for the year consists of football in the fall, basketball in the winter aligning with CAA start dates and all remaining fall sports to occur within the NCAA’s championship season timeline.

JMU Athletics is committed to providing competitive opportunities in 2020-21 for all 18 sport programs to the extent it is deemed safely possible and even if it requires a potentially non-traditional timeline.