Northern Sun Conference Fall Sports Season Delayed Two Weeks
If there is a 2020 college football season, Upper Iowa will play a maximum of eight games.
On Monday, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) announced a two-week delay in the start of fall sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The league's Board of Directors voted overwhelmingly to support the move, which also impacts the volleyball, soccer and men's and women's cross country schedules.
"With the health and safety of its member institutions’ communities, the importance of successful institutional campus reopening and the overall well-being of its student-athletes as its top priorities, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Board of Directors unanimously supported a delay to the start of NSIC fall athletic competition," league officials said in a statement.
The first permissible practice date for football and cross country teams will be Sept. 2, with the season starting no earlier than Sept. 26. Volleyball and soccer programs won't be allowed to practice until Sept. 8, with competition starting on Oct. 2 or later (To view updated football, volleyball and soccer schedules, CLICK HERE).
For Upper Iowa, the delay means the Peacocks will open their football season at Minnesota State-Moorhead on Sept. 26. Their second game against Southwest Minnesota on Oct. 3 will be Homecoming at Harms-Eischeid Stadium in Fayette. Upper Iowa's previously scheduled games at Concordia-St. Paul on Sept. 12 and against Northern State at home on Sept. 19 appear to be canceled.
K98.5.s sister station KOEL (AM-950) plans to broadcast all eight Upper Iowa football games this fall, including a 30-minute pre-game show.
"This was a challenging decision for our membership to make," NSIC Commissioner Erin Lind stated. "For the last several months, our membership has been working tirelessly to prepare for the fall sports season, including developing the resumption of athletic principles, revamping schedules and creating competition disruption plans. At this time, we remain optimistic that we can safely conduct a fall sports season and moving the start date of competition will give us the best opportunity to give our student-athletes the experience they deserve."