James Madison University suspends 2020 football season

  • James Madison University suspends 2020 football season

James Madison University suspends 2020 football season

The Big Sky has postponed their conference football competition to Spring of 2021, the league announced on Friday.

"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're still waiting for word from the Big Sky Conference on the fate of fall sports, which of course, means the fate of Griz football.

MTN News has confirmed that an announcement is expected to be made on Friday morning.

The Big Sky said in a press release that it has begun exploring modified versions of a conference football schedule to be played in the spring and fully supports the NCAA shifting the FCS playoffs to the spring. Initially James Madison University, last year's FCS runner-up, said it would pursue that avenue, but Friday said they had suspended all football activities and would hope for a season in the spring.

It's unclear if the league plans to pursue a three-game fall schedule, which appears to be an arduous pursuit, logistically, because the 13-member conference has schools in eight states with different reopening phases and social distancing mandates. "There are still a lot of unknowns but we will use this time to further player development within the program and will be ready when we get the opportunity to play". Some of these conferences will attempt to play in the Spring of 2021, but exact plans haven't been announced.

The Patriot League and Ivy League had also cancelled football this fall, though the latter does not participate in the FCS playoffs.

"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".

Hero Sports and Football Championship Subdivision football expert Brian McLaughlin, Stadium's Brett McMurphy and longtime Oregonian columnist John Canzano posted tweets Thursday that Big Sky football was a no-go this fall, but conference officials refuted to other sources that nothing was official.

The MVFC President's Council also voted that competition in Fall 2020 be conducted at institutional discretion, leaving the door open for teams to play non-conference games.