CAA cancels football season and Towson suspends all fall sports
The bad news just continues to keep rolling in for the Towson Tigers Athletic Department this week. On Thursday they found out that the Big Ten’s decision to play a conference only schedule would cost the football program over a quarter of a million dollars in revenue, $325,000 to be exact. On Friday the Board of Directors for the Colonial Athletic Association, the conference they compete in, released a statement concerning the fate of all fall sports for the 2020 season.
According to Towson Athletics, the CAA announced today that its Board of Directors has voted to suspend conference competition in football this Fall of 2020 due to growing health and safety concerns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. And if that wasn’t already bad enough that they would be losing their biggest moneymaker who had already taken a huge blow a day earlier, Towson themselves announced that they would be suspending football and all other sports this for the fall 2020 season. The other sports that compete in the fall include field hockey, volleyball, women’s cross country, and women’s soccer.
Official statements from the Towson Athletics website, CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio, and Towson University Director of Athletics Tim Leonard featured below:
The conference expressed a strong commitment to exploring the possibility of conducting a football season during the Spring of 2021, and will continue to analyze this scenario as more information becomes available and conditions continue to evolve. The football conference features 12 teams, but only five are full members of the CAA. Institutions will have the ability to explore the option of pursuing playing an independent football schedule in the Fall of 2020. Based on the number of institutions in the region that have suspended fall sports, Towson will not be pursuing an independent football schedule.
“I commend the Board of Directors for their forward thinking and open-mindedness when dealing with the uncertain and complex moment that we find ourselves in,” said CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio. “Each of our institutions is making the best decisions for their campus community, based on a totality of the circumstances analysis.”
Last month, the CAA adopted an Extreme Flexibility Model (EFM) scheduling concept for Olympic team sports during the 2020-21 season. The EFM plan is designed to provide institutions with the opportunity to maximize cost savings relative to expenses associated with regular-season travel, while also providing student-athletes and coaches with the safest possible options when traveling to away contests.
“The institutions of the Colonial Athletic Association recognize that we compete in a Conference made up of ten distinctive institutions that are located in eight states,” added D’Antonio. “As we each navigate this pandemic, we recognize that each of our ten members must rely on local and state guidance, as well as medical expertise that may result in different decisions and different timelines for each institution.”
Statement from Towson University Director of Athletics Tim Leonard-
“This decision was not made lightly. I know the impact this will have on our student-athletes and the greater Towson community. It is going to be significant. But it became evident to us during weeks, months, of discussions with the other athletic directors both in the CAA as well as in this region that it would be nearly impossible to play a full fall sports season. Therefore, we made to the decision to go ahead and suspend the fall sports season today. We will follow federal, state, and local guidelines as we are moving forward when we make an informed decision regarding the winter and spring sports.”