(DAHLONEGA )- The Peach Belt Conference has announced that all fall competition involving cross country, volleyball and soccer will be delayed until Oct 1. The unanimous decision was made by the PBC Board of Directors, comprised of the presidents and chancellors of the league’s institutions.

“We are consistently and conscientiously evaluating recommendations and guidelines from the NCAA, CDC, our state university systems and local governments,” said USC Aiken chancellor Dr. Sandra Jordan, chair of the PBC Board of Directors. “The NCAA is recommending weekly testing and point of contact antigen testing and at this moment, those tests are not readily available. Thus, we feel that delaying the start of the season until October when we anticipate more testing options is the best course of action and will allow us to embrace best practices. We will reassess as the need arises but remain dedicated to returning our student-athletes to competition when it is reasonable to do so.”

Today’s decision does not affect men’s and women’s basketball. A decision concerning those sports will be made at a later date.

“This was a very difficult decision for the Board to reach,” said PBC commissioner David Brunk. “They understand the desire of all student-athletes to get back on the field and play. However, unlike attending university classes, student-athletes are at greater risk because sports are high-contact in nature. Since there are still significant health and wellbeing concerns that exist with the COVID-19 pandemic that must take precedence at this time. The health and safety of our student-athletes is one of our fundamental responsibilities, one which we take very seriously, and those considerations have to come first.”

Over the next several weeks, the PBC will announce more information regarding decisions on fall competition schedules, fall PBC Conference and NCAA championships, practice start dates and spring sports activity in their non-championship segment.

“Today’s announcement helps UNG continue to work in the landscape of an ever-changing and fluid environment,” stated athletic director¬†Lindsay Reeves. “North Georgia is committed to remaining flexible through this pandemic and eventually providing a meaningful student-athlete experience that is driven by championship access, yet centered around the welfare of our community.”