The Big Sky has postponed their conference football competition to Spring of 2021, the league announced on Friday.
The move comes as a result of the ongoing novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“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,” said Andy Feinstein, president of the University of Northern Colorado and chair of the Big Sky Presidents’ Council. “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.”
The Big Sky did not rule out non-conference play for its members in 2020, but its unclear how that would play out. The league stated that this scenario is “… still pending further review.”
“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. “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.”
The Big Sky Conference is the eighth Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) conference to cancel their fall sports, joining the Ivy League, Patriot League, Mid-Eastern Athletic Association (MEAC), Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), Northeast Conference (NEC), and Pioneer Football League (PFL). Some of these conferences will attempt to play in the Spring of 2021, but exact plans haven’t been announced.