American Athletic Conference delays start of fall Olympic sports until September 

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SUNFLOWER FILE PHOTO/JOSEPH BARRINGHAUS

The American Athletic Conference tournement trophy sits in the concourse of the FedExForum before Wichita State's semifinal game against Cincinnati on March 16, 2019 in Memphis, Tennessee.

The American Athletic Conference is delaying the start of fall Olympic sports until Sept. 1 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the conference announced on Wednesday. 

The delay will affect exhibition games, along with non-conference competition for men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country and volleyball. 

“The decision allows member institutions additional time to implement protocols for a safe return to competition for student-athletes, coaches, and staff members,” reads the AAC’s release

Wichita State University’s volleyball and cross country programs have not yet released their schedules to the public. WSU does not have a soccer program. 

The AAC is allowing all conference schools to reschedule their non-conference opponents based upon this setback.

Even with this decision, WSU Athletic Director Darron Boatright remains positive that there will be some level of sports competition on campus this year. 

“At this point, I’m hopeful we’re able to have classes, students on campus as we plan to,” Boatright said in an interview with The Sunflower on Wednesday. “Hopefully, we will have some form of athletics if it’s safe for all concerned.”

With Wednesday’s decision, the AAC joins a number of the major athletic conferences in announcing a delayed start for fall sports. Some of the conferences are delaying the start until the spring semester.