Sun Belt opener at Troy rescheduled


ULM football’s 2020 season and Sun Belt Conference opener at Troy has been rescheduled for Dec. 5 at 2:30 p.m., according to the league office.

After a coronavirus outbreak on the football team, all football-related activities were postponed. The next week, the team started a return-to-play protocol with lifting and conditioning workouts. But practice had to be postponed again because of the arrival of Hurricane Laura.

According to Scott McDonald, ULM’s athletics director, the decision to push back the date of the game came from careful consideration of recent events like the COVID-19 cases and hurricane.

McDonald and Matt Viator, football coach, realized that their players wouldn’t have time to “re-establish conditioning and return-to-play protocols” in conditions such as these.

“Our initial focus was on monitoring and caring for our COVID-impacted student-athletes as well as exercising the appropriating measures to mitigate the spread of the virus,” Viator said.

Keith Gill, Sun Belt Conference commissioner, shared a statement of appreciation for the possibility of continuing with the football season.

“I want to thank the leadership of ULM and Troy for their commitment to the health and safety of students, staff and community,” Gill said.

The Sun Belt Conference is continuing to monitor the health of members across seven states. The COVID-19 Advisory Panel as well as conference presidents and chancellors, athletics directors and medical advisors are reviewing data from the different campuses associated with the conference.

The panel is also monitoring infection and hospitalization rates in the states the teams are coming from. 

ULM plans to open the football season at Army West Point on Saturday, Sept. 12.

The football team is eager to get back in the game, according to Viator.

“Our student-athletes have displayed tremendous resilience throughout this challenging preseason, and they look forward to opening the competitive season at Army West Point,” Viator said.