Missouri Valley Football Conference Takes Wait-And-See Approach

John Bohnenkamp

The Missouri Valley Football Conference announced on Monday that it was delaying a decision on whether to play its 2020 season in the fall.

The Football Championship Subdivision conference, which includes Northern Iowa, said in a statement:

The Missouri Valley Football Conference Presidents Council has determined patience is warranted regarding any decision to modify the 2020 Fall season, seeing merit in delaying as long as there remains a possibility to provide a safe competitive opportunity for MVFC student-athletes.

The MVFC and its Presidents Council will continue to monitor national developments and, if necessary, will consider additional action as dictated by circumstances.

Northern Iowa lost one of the games on its schedule when the Big Ten announced that it would play a conference-only schedule of football games this season. That cost the Panthers their Sept. 5 opener against Iowa.

Meanwhile, the Missouri Valley Conference announced it will have conference-only schedules for men's and women's soccer, and volleyball.

The decision does not affect the Valley football teams that play in the Missouri Valley Football Conference and Pioneer Football League.

Fall schedules for men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, and women’s tennis also will be delayed until Sept. 18, as will the non-championship fall seasons for baseball and softball. 

The start of fall practice for all conference-sponsored sports may not start before Aug. 17. Beginning with Sept. 18, athletes in those sports may compete against nonconference competition, provided that those schools meet the safety specifications outlined in the NCAA's Resocialization of College Sports Guidelines.

Schedules for winter and spring sports are not impacted at this time, the Valley announced. Also not impacted are the conference's championship models for fall sports.

The conference announced its schools "may continue with permissible athletics activities at their discretion under approved safety protocols established in the NCAA’s Resocialization of College Sports Guidelines, while following state, local and institutional policies."

The conference also said its Presidents Council will continue to monitor national developments and, "if necessary, will consider additional action as dictated by circumstances."

The Pioneer Football League, which includes Drake, announced on Monday will play only conference games this season, with the schedule not starting prior to Sept. 26.

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