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Big Sky Conference delays fall sports decision; new meeting next week

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Posted at 7:13 AM, Jul 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-31 09:14:35-04

FARMINGTON, Utah -- The can continues to be kicked down the road.

After the NCAA Board of Governors decided last Friday not to vote on canceling or postponing the fall sports championships, instead electing to meet again on Tuesday, Aug. 4, the Big Sky Conference extended its previously-announced hard deadline from Friday to next week.

The league put out a statement on Thursday afternoon.

"The Big Sky Conference's Presidents' Council met (Thursday) to review options regarding competition this fall for its member institutions' Intercollegiate athletic teams," the statement read. "The Council decided to reconvene after the NCAA Board of Governors meets again next week. In the meantime, school administrators continue to monitor closely the situations near their campuses, the national landscape, and decisions by other conferences."

The Big Sky Conference previously announced a delayed start to its Olympic fall sports -- cross country, golf, soccer and volleyball. The first dates of competition in those sports is now scheduled for Sept. 14 (golf) and Sept. 18 (cross country, soccer, volleyball).

Football remains the biggest question mark in conversations between schools and conferences across the nation. The NCAA Board of Governors is expected to discuss taking any one of three courses on Tuesday -- canceling fall championships, including the FCS playoffs, postponing the events until spring, or continuing in the fall with new protocols and guidelines in place.

The NCAA sponsors the FCS playoffs, which saw both Montana and Montana State, as well as Big Sky members Sacramento State and Weber State, qualify last fall. The Big Sky set an FCS record with all four teams being seeded in the playoffs.