Most of us are pretty much in the mindset that these types of announcements, though disappointing, are inevitable.

After meetings yesterday, the Big Sky Conference, of which the Montana Grizzlies are a member, sent out their official press release today. Due to ongoing concerns related to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Big Sky is postponing all competition for its fall sports to spring 2021. The conference’s Presidents’ Council convened Wednesday to affirm this recommendation from its members’ athletic directors.

This decision impacts all Big Sky sports that compete in the fall both for their championship season (men’s and women’s cross country, soccer, volleyball) and for their non-championship segment (men’s and women’s golf, softball, men’s and women’s tennis). Additionally, the Presidents’ Council confirmed that non-conference contests will not be permitted in any Big Sky fall sport, including football. The Presidents’ Council had decided on Aug. 6 to postpone the 2020 conference football schedule until the spring.

In the words of Big Sky Conference Commissioner Tom Wistrcill, “While I am confident that our conference is making the right decision for the health and safety of our student-athletes, it breaks my heart knowing how disappointing this will be to all of them who were eagerly anticipating the opportunity to compete this fall. Our efforts in the conference office now will focus on doing everything within our power to make their spring season the best that it possibly can be, which includes advocating for their NCAA championships to be held then."

Big Sky institutions may continue with permissible athletics activities at their discretion while abiding by NCAA legislation, campus policies, and local and state regulations. Decisions regarding the Big Sky’s winter sports (men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s indoor track and field) will be made at a later date.