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LOCAL COLLEGES: Peach Belt Conference pushes back start date for fall sports

LOCAL COLLEGES: Peach Belt Conference pushes back start date for fall sports

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AUGUSTA, Ga. – 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 well-being 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 about fall schedules, fall PBC Tournaments, practice start dates and spring sports activity in their non-championship segment.

FMU’s Burghardt tabbed as All-America Scholar

FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University junior John Burghardt has been named a Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar for the 2019-20 school year.

To be eligible for Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar status an individual must be a sophomore, junior, or senior academically, have participated in 40-percent of his team’s competitive rounds, have a stroke-average under 76.0, and maintain a minimum cumulative career grade-point average of 3.2.

A native of Oakville, Ontario, Canada, Burghardt has compiled a perfect 4.00 grade point average as a general business major. He is part of the university’s Honors Program.

He led the Patriots during the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season with a 74.15 stroke average and was named the squad’s most valuable player. He competed in all 20 rounds (seven tournaments), registered a pair of Top-10 finishes, and posted six rounds of par or better, including a career-best 66 in the opening round of the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate this past spring.

A three-year letterman, Burghardt owns a career stroke average of 76.15 for 52 rounds.

He is a member of Chi Alpha Sigma national college athlete honor society. He was named to the Peach Belt Conference Presidential Honor Roll in 2018 and 2019 and has been selected to the FMU Swamp Fox Athletic-Academic Honor Roll for all six of his semesters.

The Francis Marion golf program competes as an NCAA Division I independent.

Burghardt is a graduate of St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Secondary School.

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