VERMILLION, S.D.—The Missouri Valley Football Conference announced Friday that the league’s schools will not conduct conference competition this fall. The President’s Council also voted that competition in the fall of 2020 be conducted at institutional discretion.
The announcement comes on the heels of the NCAA Board of Governors ruling Wednesday that “if 50 percent or more of eligible teams in a particular sport in a division cancel their fall season, there will be no fall NCAA championship in that sport in that division.”
Recent announcements, including those from the Big Sky Conference and Pioneer Football League, lowered the percentage of participating teams to around 40 percent.
“In its unwavering commitment to providing meaningful and safe competitive opportunities for the conference’s student-athletes, the MVFC will play a full eight-game spring league schedule with the expectation to culminate the season with the FCS playoffs,” the release states.
South Dakota football conducted its first official practice Friday afternoon. Friday morning, ahead of the President Council’s discussion, USD officials met with the football program.
“President (Sheila) Gestring and I met with our players this morning, and they stressed to us that competing for a national championship, playing in front of family, friends and fans, and having a safe environment to do so were of utmost importance,” said USD Athletics Director David Herbster.
“This is an unprecedented decision, and we certainly appreciate the patience of our players, coaches and fans, as we work through this process,” Herbster continued. “This decision gives us options to consider for the fall, and the opportunity to prepare and plan for a spring championship season that will hopefully give as many fans as possible the ability to see the DakotaDome renovations and enjoy a Coyote football game safely.”