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USF spring football still in limbo as AAC shuts down 2019-20 season

No more American Athletic Conference competition will be held this academic year.
New USF football coach Jeff Scott oversaw one practice before the coronavirus outbreak forced the Bulls to shut things down. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
New USF football coach Jeff Scott oversaw one practice before the coronavirus outbreak forced the Bulls to shut things down. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]

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USF’s 2019-20 sports season formally has ended, though a very remote chance still exists for a few more spring football practices.

As expected, the American Athletic Conference announced Monday that it is canceling all athletic competition and championships for the remainder of the academic year.

“In addition, all American institutions have ceased practicing,” the two-sentence statement concluded.

The announcement comes three days after USF athletic director Michael Kelly announced the school had canceled all team practices until April 5 and had encouraged its student-athletes to remain home until then if possible.

Related: NCAA to grant extra year for athletes in spring sports

A USF spokesman, however, said Monday that spring football remains a possibility if it becomes “reasonable and prudent” for teams to return to practice. Such a scenario seems unlikely, however, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Sunday that gatherings of 50 or more people should be canceled or postponed nationally for the next eight weeks.

The Bulls held one practice under new coach Jeff Scott before being forced to adjourn amid the coronavirus outbreak. USF already has confirmed the annual spring intra-squad game won’t be played April 18 as scheduled. Whether it will be played at a later time remains unclear.

The baseball team was 6-11 when its season was shut down. The softball team, by contrast, was 16-9, having won 16 of 19 games after an 0-6 start. Four of those victories were against ranked opponents.

The men’s golf team had just captured its first team trophy of the season, winning the 11-team Challenge at Concession by 13 strokes early last week. The men’s tennis team was 9-4 and riding a four-match win streak.

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