College Football

Missouri Valley in holding pattern; Pioneer is league-only

By CRAIG HALEY

Stats Perform FCS Senior Editor

(Stats Perform) - No new news is good news with the Missouri Valley Football Conference.

One of the premier FCS conferences, home to national champion North Dakota State, the MVFC stressed Monday the need for patience in determining its 2020 season, a decision that should become clearer in the next two weeks during what's been a dizzying period for college football.

In a statement, the conference said, "The Missouri Valley Football Conference Presidents Council has determined patience is warranted regarding any decision to modify the 2020 fall season, seeing merit in delaying as long as there remains a possibility to provide a safe competitive opportunity for MVFC student-athletes.

"The MVFC and its Presidents Council will continue to monitor national developments and, if necessary, will consider additional action as dictated by circumstances."

Schools and conferences across the country have been deciding whether to have fall sports competition during the COVID-19 pandemic, with five of the 13 FCS conferences - the Ivy and Patriot leagues, Mid-Eastern Athletic and Southwestern Athletic conferences and CAA Football - ruling against it earlier this month. Conferences such as the MVFC also are awaiting the NCAA's decision to have postseason competition or not this fall.

The MVFC celebrated its 35th anniversary season last year. North Dakota has joined the conference this year as an 11th member alongside North Dakota State, a winner of three straight and eight of the last nine FCS titles, as well as Illinois State, Indiana State, Missouri State, Northern Iowa, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Southern Illinois, Western Illinois and Youngstown State.

Preseason camps can begin on Aug. 7. The MVFC has decided to push back its planned virtual media days from Aug. 3-4, with a potential switch to Aug. 10-11.

Patty Viverito serves as commissioner of both the MVFC and the FCS non-scholarship Pioneer Football League. The nationwide league, whose defending champion is San Diego, announced shortly after the MVFC update that its nine members would play a league-only schedule - not to begin before Sept. 26 - if conditions are deemed safe.

"The (PFL's presidents) council will vigilantly monitor national developments, ensuring the league's plans continue to be supported by current medical evidence and guidance. It is the council's intent to ensure the health and welfare of student-athletes and the communities in which they live," the PFL said in a statement.

Also Monday, defending Big South champion Monmouth announced its won't have a fall season after its main conference - the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference - ruled against one. The Big South is scheduled to hold its virtual media day on Tuesday.

Updated July 27, 2020

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