Organizers of the 47th annual Bayou Classic sent out a Tuesday statement reaffirming that the annual HBCU football showcase for Southern and Grambling will not be played in November. However, the statement noted that the game will take place in the spring. The news release said organizers said the game will be played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome "in the future."
The statement followed the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s Monday vote to postpone all fall sports, including football, to the spring.
Southern University athletics director Roman Banks said Monday that he is hopeful that the Bayou Classic can be played in New Orleans in the spring. Banks noted that SU and Grambling will automatically play in the spring because they are division opponents.
“The organizers of Bayou Classic agree with SWAC’s decision as the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches. administrators, team staff, campus faculty, fans and supporters are our top priority,” the statement said. “And while, fall football and the Bayou Classic are cultural staples, the organizers of Bayou Classic commit to developing a plan so this important historic tradition continues when it is safe to do so.
“With the planned move of SWAC football to the spring, we remain optimistic that the iconic Bayou Classic, ranked as the No. 1 HBCU Classic in the nation, will be played between Southern University and Grambling State University at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans at some time in the future.
“Until then we ask for all Bayou Classic fans to stay safe, wear your mask in public and follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”
The SWAC football schedule adopted Monday will include seven possible games, including six conference games.
“Obviously, it will not be the Bayou Classic we are used to because of the virus and other factors,” Banks said. “It is a division game that we will schedule. New Orleans will have the right of refusal. We would love to play it in New Orleans, if that can be worked out.”