Following a vote Monday by its Presidents’ Council, the Big Sky Conference has canceled all practices and workouts for its athletic departments through May 15 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. This action includes the cancellation of all spring football practices that had not yet been completed.
Idaho State’s spring football practices were scheduled to begin on March 31 and end on April 25 with the Bengals’ spring game.
The Big Sky previously suspended all practices and trainings through April 3. All of the league’s spring sports competitions and championships have been canceled.
“We appreciate the Big Sky Conference continuing to adjust to the evolving public health situation by developing parameters for member schools to move forward collectively,” Idaho State athletic director Pauline Thiros said. “Student-athletes can have certainty regarding their plans for the remainder of the semester, and as a department, we can dial in on delivering long-distance support to them.”
Big Sky institutions continue to retain the option to provide support services for their student-athletes while following national, state and campus protocols for social distancing and preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus. These services may vary based on each institution’s circumstances and can include athletic training, academics and mental health services, as well as other programming that is in the best interest of supporting the student-athletes.
“We are most focused on ensuring they achieve success this academic term, on helping them stay engaged with the student-athlete community which is so much a part of their lives, and on approaching their physical preparation in a different way,” Thiros said. “We are here to support our Bengals and we are taking the opportunity to be creative in providing that support.”
This latest measure comes after the Presidents’ Council voted to cancel the remainder of the conference basketball tournaments and suspend spring sports on March 12. Shortly after that, on March 18, the Presidents’ Council voted to cancel the 2020 Big Sky spring athletic competitions and championships, as well as suspend team or individual practices and workouts until at least April 3.