Southern's football game at Prairie View on April 10 has been postponed because of COVID-19 issues at Prairie View and subsequent quarantining of student-athletes, the Southwestern Athletic Conference office announced Thursday.
Prairie View's game Saturday against Alabama A&M has also been postponed, and the conference office has not set a possible makeup date for either, opening up the possibility of moving the SWAC championship game, which is scheduled for May 1. There are no more open weekends for rescheduling before May 1.
“That’s the date the conference has set for the championship game, but we have room to move that game,” Southern athletic director Roman Banks said. "We’ve talked about that. We would like not to, but if circumstances call us to move it, we will.
“I don’t think we will know until probably next week when we sit down, take a look at it and have a conference call. A lot of schools haven’t played as many games as we have. There are a lot of things to take into account.”
Southern, which is scheduled to play its fourth game Saturday at Jackson State (3-1), had been the only league school to play all of its scheduled games since the start of the season. Mississippi Valley State and Alabama A&M have played one game each through the first five weeks, and A&M’s game was against nonconference opponent South Carolina State.
Nine SWAC games have been postponed because of COVID-19 protocols and two for weather-related reasons. After the schedule was set, Alcorn State opted out of playing any games in the spring season, and each of its opponents received a forfeit win.
It’s the third time this season Prairie View has had to postpone games. The game Saturday against Alabama A&M was rescheduled from earlier in the month along with Prairie View’s game against Jackson State, both because of COVID-19 issues. Prairie View’s game against Grambling (0-3) was moved from Feb. 27 to March 13.
Southern has an open date on April 24, but Prairie View is scheduled to play the postponed game against Jackson State that day and is set to play Arkansas-Pine Bluff in another rescheduled game April 17. Grambling canceled its next two games but is still set to play Southern in the Bayou Classic on April 17 in Shreveport.
Only three games remain on the schedule for SWAC teams Saturday: Southern at Jackson State at 4 p.m., Pine Bluff at Mississippi Valley at 3 p.m. and South Carolina State at Alabama State in a nonconference game at 3 p.m.