Big Sky postpones fall sports to the spring of 2021

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The Big Sky Conference announced its decision to postpone all fall sports until spring 2021, impacting all Big Sky Sports that compete in the fall for both their championship season and their non-championship season. Photo courtesy of uncbears.com.

Due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Big Sky Conference announced in August that all competitions for its fall sports were being postponed until spring 2021.

According to the press release from the Big Sky Conference, the conference’s Presidents’ Council decided on August 6 to postpone the 2020 conference football schedule until the spring. The decision to postpone all fall sports competitions was made on August 12 after the conference’s athletic directors recommended the postponement.

This decision impacts all Big Sky sports that compete in the fall for both their championship season and their non-championship season. This includes men’s and women’s cross country, golf, softball, soccer, volleyball and tennis.

“While I am confident that our conference is making the right decision for the health and safety of our student-athletes, it breaks my heart knowing how disappointing this will be to all of them who were eagerly anticipating the opportunity to compete this fall,” Commissioner Tom Wistrcill said in the Big Sky Conference press release. “Our efforts in the conference office now will focus on doing everything within our power to make their spring season the best that it possibly can be, which includes advocating for their NCAA championships to be held then. As campuses begin re-opening this fall, we hope that everyone remains safe and healthy while we continue to learn more about how best to manage this fluid situation and its impact on higher education.”

According to the press release, Big Sky institutions may continue with athletics at their discretion and must abide by NCAA legislation, campus policies, and local and state regulations.

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The Big Sky Conference will make decisions regarding its winter sports at a later date. These sports include men’s and women’s basketball and men’s and women’s indoor track and field.

In a statement to the University of Northern Colorado athletics department in response to the postponement, Athletic Director Darren Dunn said they support the Big Sky President’s Council’s decision to postpone the season.

“We fully support the Big Sky President Council’s decision to postpone the fall season,” Dunn said in UNC’s news release. “Today is a difficult day as announcing the postponement of our Fall Sports competition to the Spring, 2021. We have worked tirelessly with the Big Sky Conference, staff, coaches, and local health officials throughout this process and we all feel it’s the best overall decision to move these sports to the Spring.”

According to UNC’s news release, Dunn said UNC sports will be competing soon and they are looking to win more Big Sky Championships.

“We are BearStrong and we all will get through this difficult time,” Dunn said. “UNC sports will be competing soon and looking to win many more Big Sky Championships. Now is the time we all rally behind our coaches, student-athletes, and our community. We are BearsStrong.”

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