FARMINGTON, Utah (AP) — The Big Sky Conference has voted to postpone all fall sports competition until the spring because of concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision follows the Big Sky’s postponement of fall football on Aug. 6 when the league became one of the first in the nation to scuttle the sport because of the virus that has claimed more than 160,000 lives in the United States and about 750,000 worldwide.
The other Big Sky sports that are now postponed are men’s and women’s cross country, soccer and volleyball as well as men’s and women’s golf, softball and men’s and women’s 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,” Big Sky Commissioner Tom Wistrcill said.
Members of the Big Sky Conference are Eastern Washington, Idaho, Idaho State, Montana, Montana State, Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado, Portland State, Sacramento State, Southern Utah and Weber State.
Big Sky schools may continue with permissible athletics activities at their discretion while abiding by NCAA legislation, campus policies, and local and state regulations, the league said.
The conference’s Presidents’ Council convened Wednesday to affirm the recommendation from its athletic directors to postpone the entire fall sports calendar.
“We thank them for their efforts and appreciate the desire to compete but most importantly, keep us safe,” said Northern Colorado soccer coach Tim Barrera.
Decisions regarding the Big Sky’s winter sports (men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s indoor track and field) will be made at a later date.