ST. GEORGE — The Big Sky Conference announced Friday that they would be postponing the 2020 fall football season to the spring of 2021.
The move was made by the conference’s Presidents’ Council, which met and voted to push the football season back on Thursday.
“The health and safety of our students is our top priority, and ultimately that concern guided our decision-making process over the past few months as we explored every option regarding the 2020 football season,” Andy Feinstein, president of the University of Northern Colorado and chair of the Big Sky Presidents’ Council, said in a press release. “We recognize just how meaningful these opportunities are to the student-athletes, coaches and staff throughout our conference and empathize that they won’t be able to compete this fall for a Big Sky championship. We are eager to provide our football programs with that opportunity in the spring when it’s hopefully safer to be able to do so.”
This would mean that the SUU Thunderbirds football team would not participate in any conference sanctioned events in the fall. While the decision was made for football, there has still been no final decision on the rest of the fall sports including volleyball, women’s soccer, and women’s and men’s cross country.
While the conference football season has been moved to the spring, there are still questions about the nonconference schedule. SUU is scheduled to play Dixie State University and Utah State University prior to the Big Sky season in the fall, but there are also some questions surrounding that game.
Ultimately, the conference will decide how they want to go about these nonconference games, but the Mountain West announced they will be pushing their season back to start no earlier than Sept. 26. The Utah State game was scheduled for Sept. 12.
“This is the right decision for our member institutions, even though we realize how disappointing it will be for all who represent and care about Big Sky football,” Commissioner Tom Wistrcill said in a press release. “We will now shift our attention to doing everything within our power to provide our football student-athletes and coaches with a conference schedule and a championship opportunity in the spring. We already have begun actively engaging our fellow FCS conferences and the NCAA to join us then for what will be a unique opportunity to return to competition and compete for an FCS championship.”
Big Sky schools are allowed to continue with athletic activities as long as they are following NCAA legislation, campus policies, and local and state regulations.
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