C-USA votes to end season, USM's McClain taking it 'day to day'

By ANDREW ABADIE,

Conferences around the country this week voted to end spring sport competitions after the NCAA cancelled all both its winter and spring coemptions and recommended that member conferences do the same. 

 

The Conference USA Board of Directors voted unanimously on Monday to end all spring sport competition as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. As a result Southern Miss athletics ended its springs sports seasons.

 

“I think we felt like that’s where we were heading, especially as other conferences (ended their seasons) after the NCAA canceled the NCAA championships in the spring, which changes things for everybody,” McClain said. “As conferences began to say ‘hey, we aren’t going to compete this spring,’ I think it became clear that’s where we were heading. We needed to work through that formal process and make sure everybody had the opportunity to voice their opinion.”

 

The NCAA did grant spring athletes an extra year of eligibility, but those details have yet to decided. According to McClain, the conversation of how to handle that has begun. 

 

“The NCAA came out and said that they want to work towards trying to give a year of eligibility back to where we can,” McClain said. “We are working through that and the beginning of that process of what it will look like and how that works. That’s a lot of details, so that’s going to take a little while, but the conversation has already started. Conference calls and things like that have already begun. We will be working through that, but I’m hesitant to give my opinion on what it will look like.” 

 

Southern Miss will see some financial impact as a result from losing the baseball season.

 

“There’s impact,” McClain said. “We are going to work with our season ticket holders within the week and talk about what their options are, but if everyone said they want their money back, that’s going to have a financial impact on us. From a revenue standpoint we don’t have other places to replace that. We will work through that and share those options with our fans and want to make sure that they are taken care of, too. We will just have to adjust our budget from now until the end of the year and make up the difference.” 

 

As of now, Conference USA officials and athletic directors will continue to discuss and manage future plans of action. 

 

 “The reason I say that is because circumstances change every day for it, and the outlook is we are just like everyone else especially with what the government, CDC and the governor says. We are listening closely but that changes daily,” McClain said. “I think we will have some clarity or direction maybe by the end of the week on football spring practice and what those things look like, but right now we are monitoring it and trying to work through that process.

 

 

“We are having conference calls every morning and things are changing daily on conference calls with conference daily. We are in constant communication on what that looks like to make a more longterm decision. We are going to have to make more longterm decisions in the near future.” 

 

How long the current situation and circumstances will last is unknown. According to McClain part of the next step is preparing for the fall.

 

“As it becomes more clear and probably eases into the summer, we’ll have to think about how this affects our preparations for next year,” McClain said. “I think that’s a real concern but the hope is that it does not have an impact on the preparations for next year, and we’re able to move forward.”  

 

Conferences around the country this week voted to end spring sport competitions after the NCAA canceled all its winter and spring championships and recommended that member conferences do the same.

The Conference USA Board of Directors voted unanimously on Monday to end all spring sport competition as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. As a result Southern Miss athletics ended its springs sports seasons.

“I think we felt like that’s where we were heading, especially as other conferences (ended their seasons) after the NCAA canceled the NCAA championships in the spring, which changes things for everybody,” McClain said. “As conferences began to say ‘hey, we aren’t going to compete this spring,’ I think it became clear that’s where we were heading. We needed to work through that formal process and make sure everybody had the opportunity to voice their opinion.”

The NCAA did grant spring athletes an extra year of eligibility, but those details have yet to decided. According to McClain, the conversation of how to handle that has begun.

“The NCAA came out and said that they want to work towards trying to give a year of eligibility back to where we can,” McClain said. “We are working through that and the beginning of that process of what it will look like and how that works. That’s a lot of details, so that’s going to take a little while, but the conversation has already started. Conference calls and things like that have already begun. We will be working through that, but I’m hesitant to give my opinion on what it will look like.”

Southern Miss will see some financial impact as a result from losing the baseball season.

“There’s impact,” McClain said. “We are going to work with our season ticket holders within the week and talk about what their options are, but if everyone said they want their money back, that’s going to have a financial impact on us. From a revenue standpoint we don’t have other places to replace that. We will work through that and share those options with our fans and want to make sure that they are taken care of, too. We will just have to adjust our budget from now until the end of the year and make up the difference.”

As of now, Conference USA officials and athletic directors will continue to discuss and manage future plans of action.

“The reason I say that is because circumstances change every day for it, and the outlook is we are just like everyone else especially with what the government, CDC and the governor says. We are listening closely but that changes daily,” McClain said. “I think we will have some clarity or direction maybe by the end of the week on football spring practice and what those things look like, but right now we are monitoring it and trying to work through that process.

 

“We are having conference calls every morning and things are changing daily on conference calls with conference daily. We are in constant communication on what that looks like to make a more longterm decision. We are going to have to make more longterm decisions in the near future.”

How long the current situation and circumstances will last is unknown. According to McClain part of the next step is preparing for the fall.

“As it becomes more clear and probably eases into the summer, we’ll have to think about how this affects our preparations for next year,” McClain said. “I think that’s a real concern but the hope is that it does not have an impact on the preparations for next year, and we’re able to move forward.”