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MVFC To Delay Season Until Spring 2021

Football player being tackled
Izzy Carroll
Illinois State football coach Brock Spack and the Redbirds will have to prepare for a spring 2021 season after the MVFC announced plans to cancel the fall season.

The Missouri Valley Football Conference has announced plans to delay the upcoming season until the spring of 2021 due to the pandemic.
The MVFC Presidents Council said the league will instead play an eight-game spring schedule that will include the potential for Football Championship Subdivision playoff competition.

The FCS already scrapped plans for a fall postseason as more than half of its schools had planned to move its season to the spring.

“Without question the most important part of our decision-making process was listening to our student-athletes and hearing their feelings,” said Jim Tressel, chair of the MVFC Presidents Council and President at Youngstown State University. “What we clearly heard was that they want to play this year for a chance to participate in the FCS Playoffs. It's great to know that they believe we are taking all the steps necessary to keep them safe in the process. All 11 MVFC teams weighed in with their positions on the options we considered, and all thoughts and concerns guided our thinking.”

Prior to this point, most of the league’s schedule had remained intact, despite uncertainty about the prospects for schools to safely commit to games as coronavirus cases prompted more schools and conferences to shift plans. 

Illinois State University previously had to drop its season-opening game at Illinois after the Big Ten announced it would only play conference games this season. The two schools have since rescheduled the game for the 2028 season.

The fate of ISU's two remaining nonconference games is unclear. The Redbirds were scheduled to play their play their annual game against Eastern Illinois in the home opener on Sept. 12 and Dixie State in its Senior Day game  Nov. 21.

The Missouri Valley Conference previously announced plans to delay fall sportsuntil Sept. 18.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.