Southern's 2020 football schedule is two games shorter because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Jaguars released an amended schedule Friday with nine games, confirming news first reported Thursday that Southern's opening game against Tennessee State on Sept. 5 in Detroit and a home game Sept. 12 against Florida A&M have been canceled.
The New York Times and Tallahassee (Florida) Democrat reported the cancellations Thursday, but Southern athletic director Roman Banks said the decisions weren't final.
Various plans for starting the college football season have called for games with limited or no attendance to limit the spread of COVID-19. That raises a financial problem for schools that don't make much revenue from television contracts.
Southern's opening game is now scheduled for Sept. 19 at Alabama A&M. The Jaguars' home opener is Sept. 26 against Jackson State. The only non-conference game is Oct. 31 against Florida Memorial.
There are five home games on the schedule, though it's unclear how many fans — if any — will be allowed in A.W. Mumford Stadium.
The schedule also listed the location of the Bayou Classic against Grambling on Nov. 28 as "TBD." Banks said earlier this week that the game could still be played in its traditional location of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome but that school and game officials also were considering Mumford, Tiger Stadium or Shreveport's Independence Stadium.
The lost games are among the first canceled football games in the country. The NCAA has announced an expanded preseason to help teams slowly ramp up to the regular season. The majority of college teams are scheduled to begin their season Sept. 5; those schools can start two weeks of extra team activities July 24.
But schools must also monitor virus outbreaks. Clemson reported Friday that 23 football players tested positive for COVID-19, though most are asymptomatic and none were hospitalized. Other schools, including Texas, Louisiana Tech and Alabama, previously announced positive tests.