SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Missouri Valley Football Conference announced the postponement of their conference season to the spring.
Friday’s announcement wasn’t unexpected, but it was still a tough pill to swallow.
“Most of them saw this coming but they didn’t know when. But when it did happen, that’s when reality hits you, and I had one of them say to me, ‘it felt like we just got hit by a dump truck,'” USD Athletic Director David Herbster said.
The postponed season could interrupt some seniors’ post-graduation plans.
“This was their chance to play their most football. You know, guys have been backups for their entire career and now they’re going to be able to start, and have that taken away. I preach pursue your dream, and that’s what those guys are a picture of, and it was taken away from them,” SDSU Head Football Coach John Stiegelmeier said.
Friday’s news provided some answers, but it left just as many questions moving forward.
“Are we going to play an non-conference games this fall? How might that affect our eligibility? What is practice going to look like? When are we going to start, when are we going to wrap up,” Herbster said.
The Missouri Valley is allowing schools to schedule up to three non-conference football games this fall.
“We’re trying to bring some clarity, and answer some questions for the football team. Because I think they really need to feel comfortable. We need to hear their voice to make sure that they’re all-in and bought in on playing,” Herbster said.
After the Big Sky and Pioneer League moved their seasons to the spring, there couldn’t be any FCS Playoffs since more than 50% of teams were no longer competing in the fall.
“They wanted the opportunity to compete for a championship, so it only made sense to push it to the spring,” Herbster said.
Getting that chance to compete for a national championship at least helped soften the blow from yesterday’s news.
“Our guys decided if we can play an 8-game schedule and play the playoffs, they’re much, much more for that than they would be just playing eight games and ending it. I thought, does that say something about their interest in football, no, what I discovered is, that’s our mentality at South Dakota State, we want to compete for the prize,” Stiegelmeier said.