It’s hard to imagine a fall in Montana without Bobcat and Grizzly football, but multiple reports, including The Denver Post and sports websites around the country, are reporting the Big Sky Conference does not plan to play football in the fall.
Early reports have not been confirmed by Big Sky Conference presidents and athletics directors, who met Thursday to discuss holding the fall sports season during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reports say the fall season is out, but it’s unsure if the season is canceled or postponed until the spring. An announcement by the conference is expected on Friday. There are 11 full-time member schools in the conference.
Multiple sources are also reporting the Pioneer League is also canceling or suspending the fall football season.
At least 50% of all Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) programs must be competing in the fall for the postseason to happen in 2020. If the Big Sky and Pioneer don’t compete, the football season could be over for all FCS programs.
Football powerhouse James Madison University announced Thursday night it will suspend the start of practice scheduled for Friday morning due to the developments. JMU was scheduled to play as an independent after the Colonial Conference decided not to play this fall.
The Mountain West conference, which included the University of Wyoming, announced a 10-game football season this week. The opening game was pushed back three weeks, to Sept. 26.