Saturday, September 19, 2020

Big Sky Conference postpones football to spring

by Daily Inter Lake
| August 7, 2020 4:44 PM

FARMINGTON, Utah – The Big Sky Conference made it official Friday morning, announcing via press release that its conference football season is postponed until spring.

The conference’s Presidents’ Council convened Thursday and voted on the matter – some media had reported it that night, with the Sacramento State student newspaper able to get confirmation from its university president.

“The health and safety of our students is our top priority, and ultimately that concerned guided our decision-making process over the past few months,” Andy Feinstein, Northern Colorado’s president and chair of the Presidents’ Council, said. “We are eager to provide our football programs that opportunity in the spring when it’s hopefully safer to be able to do so.”

The statement left open the possibility of Big Sky programs, including the University of Montana and Montana State University, playing non-conference games in 2020. That might be a lifeline to the Missoula and Bozeman local economies that had looked forward to five or more home games this fall.

Meanwhile the league is exploring modified versions of a spring league-only schedule and, “fully supports the NCAA shifting the FCS championship to the spring.”

“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,” Big Sky Conference commissioner Tom Wistrcill said. “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.”

The statement went on to say that other Big Sky sports that compete in the fall will continue to be reviewed with a final determination made at a later date.