On Friday, the CAA announced that it won’t participate in fall 2020 football play, but teams are open to play out-of-conference games. The conference also announced the suspension of conference competition for the upcoming fall.
This comes after the rise in COVID-19 cases across the country. The Ivy as well as Patriot leagues postponed their 2020 season to the spring.
“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,” CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio said. “Each of our institutions is making the best decisions for its campus community, based on a totality of the circumstances analysis.”
JMU is still looking to play as long as the FCS Postseason playoffs are held. JMU is coming off its fourth National Championship appearance after losing to North Dakota State 28-20, according to the Daily News-Record.
JMU players and staff reported to campus last week and underwent the first round of COVID-19 testing, with only one positive test from an asymptomatic player.
JMU players and coaches have made their opinions known on Twitter about the football season. Head coach Curt Cignetti tweeted out a photo suggesting that the Dukes will be a “lone wolf” in the CAA, as JMU would compete as an independent in the FCS.
JMU is currently working on rearranging its fall 2020 schedule to accommodate the loss of conference games, as the Dukes were set to open their 2020 season against Delaware on Sept. 5 in Harrisonburg. The Dukes had another seven CAA games scheduled for the season, while their out-of-conference games against Chattanooga, UNC and Merrimack are still intact.
“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," JMU Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne said to JMU Athletics.
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