On Saturday of last week, Southern University athletics put out a press release concerning their plans for season ticket holders going into the spring sports season. COVID-19 has impacted many different facets of the way SU Athletics operates typically. Dating back to the spring semester, the virus wiped out many sports seasons that were in full swing or even just starting out. According to Athletic Director Roman Banks the Jaguar nation’s support for Athletics never dwindled.
“I would like to thank the Jaguar Nation for the support they have shown our student-athletes during these unprecedented times.” The seasons for most, if not all Fall sports have been pushed back to the Spring. With the Fall semester concluding in mere weeks, Athletics came up with a multi-faceted plan to maintain season ticket holder support.
Assistant Director of Marketing & Development, Taylor Stewart, laid out the thinking in the plan itself. “The benefit that we have had in moving to the spring is the ability to listen to what other people are doing.” Other universities have made attempts to play during these unpredictable times, but Southern has chosen to do things their own way. “As much as we want to get outside and play football we still want to make sure that everybody is safe,” continued Stewart.
With safety being the top concern for athletics, the question of comfortability also comes through. Stewart spoke about the challenges that they face in the making of the protocol. “Knowing that not everybody is going to be happy, that’s the biggest thing,” said Stewart.
With COVID-19 sweeping across the nation, many events that are usually packed with people must now limit attendance. The usual yes’s have turned into no’s as athletics has been pushed to ensure the safety of all in attendance. One specific change that the Athletics Department has made in conjunction with the new protocol is the stoppage of in-person ticket sales.
With so many different changes being made to facilitate the season, Stewart shared her hopes for the season. “My ideal outcome is that we still have healthy student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and even fans at the end of the day.” Southern University football kicks off their season against Alabama State on Feb. 26. Their home opener will be against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on March 6.