MISSOULA — The NCAA Board of Governors left the future of fall sports championships idling in uncertainty following its Tuesday meeting.
The BOG didn’t hold a vote on fall championships, according to reports from Sports Illustrated and Stadium, which cited sources. Instead of the BOG voting, Division I, II and III will decide independently about the status of fall sports championships, according to Stadium and The Athletic, which cited sources in their reporting.
For FCS football, that means a decision reportedly will be left up to the Division I Board of Directors, which is scheduled to meet from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. MT Wednesday. The BOD has 24 representatives, including nine from FCS schools or conferences. The Big Sky is represented by Northern Arizona president Rita Hartung.
NCAA President Mark Emmert released a statement that an update would be provided Wednesday: "The Board of Governors and I today continued our discussion about the NCAA's ability to proceed with our 22 fall championships in light of the COVID-19 trend lines. In order to ensure the health and well-being of college athletes, we have to consider all the implications when determining our next steps, and we plan to provide an update to our membership and the public tomorrow."
The agenda for the BOG meeting Tuesday included 14 items up for discussion, one of which was the “NCAA fall sports championships.” The BOG previously tabled its discussion about making a decision during its July 24 meeting.
The NCAA is in charge of championships, including the FCS playoffs, but not regular-season play and conference tournaments, which are run by the conferences. The College Football Playoff is run by the 10 FBS conferences.
Six of the 13 FCS conferences have already postponed football to the spring semester: The Ivy League, Patriot, CAA, NEC, SWAC and MEAC. Two CAA teams, JMU and Elon, are planning to pursue a fall season if there’s a shot at winning an FCS championship.
The seven FCS conferences that haven’t made a decision on fall sports are the Big Sky, Big South, Missouri Valley, Ohio Valley, Pioneer, Southern and Southland.
The Big Sky presidents are expected to meet Thursday to make a decision about regular-season competition. Montana is scheduled to start fall camp Friday, but that could potentially change based on the decision the Big Sky presidents make.
Frank Gogola covers Griz football and prep sports for the Missoulian. Follow him on Twitter @FrankGogola or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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