NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – It’s been blow after blow for college athletics in our area, so add Lipscomb to that list.
The Atlantic Sun conference announced the postponement of all ASUN regular season and championship competition for the fall semester due to concerns related to COVID-19.
Bisons sports impacted include men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball.
“Obviously this is a huge disappointment,” said ASUN Commissioner Ted Gumbart in the league’s official release. “Anyone who follows college sports understands the dynamics that brought us to this decision, but that doesn’t mean we like it. My feelings right now? COVID stinks. If you weren’t putting my words into a public release, I might put it another way.”
The ASUN’s President’s Council says providing a spring season for the fall sports remains a priority, but winter sports including Indoor Track & Field and men’s and women’s basketball are not impacted by this move.
Lipscomb Director of Athletics Philip Hutchenson provided this statement in reaction to the ASUN’s decision:
“Before making any other comment, I want to start with a simple ‘I’m sorry’ for all of our student-athletes and programs. Competing as a collegiate student-athlete has been a dream for so many of our members. To have that dream taken away for reasons entirely out of their control is so difficult and I share those feelings of sorrow, frustration and loss.
“Knowing the NCAA would automatically cancel fall championships with more than 50% of Division I teams having already canceled their fall season, the decision for the ASUN Conference to cancel its fall was not entirely surprising. However, it’s no less disappointing to all of us, starting with our student-athletes, and I am sorry this is where we are as a result of this pandemic.
“We are still working toward a solution that would provide a way for fall sports to compete in the spring – that is our hope and our goal.
I will continue to talk with coaches both individually and collectively to understand the desires and issues faced and to help represent our programs in the discussions being held as we work toward alternative plans.
“There are still many questions to be answered in terms of some possible version of a spring season, practice and recruiting calendars, eligibility and scholarship questions for next year and more.
“We will continue working as a part of the NCAA Division I, as a part of the ASUN and as a part of the Lipscomb community to do our best for all concerned. And during this confusing time, we share as much information as we are able to in order to help our student-athletes, programs and supporters understand the issues and opportunities at hand.
“We have always said that we compete at the “Highest Level with a Higher Calling” in mind. And now, more than ever, we will focus as coaches, staff and administrators on doing the thing it takes – whether or not we ever play a game – to make this year successful in terms of the experiences and growth of our student-athletes.”