Montana State Spring Football

Choate “not hung up” on spring ball cancellation

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Editor’s note: With the exception of the quotes from Montana State head coach Jeff Choate, the other quotes used in this story were provided by Montana State sports information director Bill Lamberty. Montana State was scheduled to start spring football practices on March 30 before the Big Sky Conference cancelled all spring sports activities last month.

BOZEMAN, Montana — As Montana State battled the elements in Bozeman for most of last spring, Jeff Choate made sure to reinforce his stance that he by and large wished the structure of playing football in March and April wasn’t considered necessary.

This spring, for much more dangerous elements completely out of Choate or anyone else’s control, Montana State did not conduct spring football. The Big Sky Conference announced the cancellation of all spring sports championships and activities just a few days before MSU was slated to open spring practices on March 30.

During a one-on-one interview with Skyline Sports on March 23, Choate expressed concern for his players’ academic standings given the cancellation of classes on the Montana State campus. He acknowledged his team’s desire to connect with each other and workout together, two things that will not be allowed in big groups for the foreseeable future given the COVID-19 pandemic that is owning the day across the globe.

But Choate also did not complain or bemoan the fact that his team will not navigate the 15 allowed spring practices granted by the NCAA, even though many teams in the Big Sky Conference did get some spring ball in and two schools — Portland State and UC Davis — completed the session.

Editor’s
note: With the exception of the quotes from Montana State head coach Jeff
Choate, the other quotes used in this story were provided by Montana State
sports information director Bill Lamberty. Montana State was scheduled to start
spring football practices on March 30 before the Big Sky Conference cancelled
all spring sports activities last month.

BOZEMAN, Montana — As Montana State
battled the elements in Bozeman for most of last spring, Jeff Choate made sure
to reinforce his stance that he by and large wished the structure of playing
football in March and April wasn’t considered necessary.

This spring, for much more dangerous elements completely out of Choate or anyone else’s control, Montana State did not conduct spring football. The Big Sky Conference announced the cancellation of all spring sports championships and activities just a few days before MSU was slated to open spring practices on March 30.

During a one-on-one interview with Skyline Sports on March 23, Choate expressed concern for his players’ academic standings given the cancellation of classes on the Montana State campus. He acknowledged his team’s desire to connect with each other and workout together, two things that will not be allowed in big groups for the foreseeable future given the COVID-19 pandemic that is owning the day across the globe.

But Choate also did not complain or bemoan the fact that his team will not navigate the 15 allowed spring practices granted by the NCAA, even though many teams in the Big Sky Conference did get some spring ball in and two schools — Portland State and UC Davis — completed the session.

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Photos by Brooks Nuanez. All Rights Reserved.

About Colter Nuanez

Colter Nuanez is the co-founder and senior writer for Skyline Sports. After spending six years in the newspaper industry with stops at the Missoulian, the Ellensburg Daily Record and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the former Washington Newspaper Association Sportswriter of the Year and University of Montana Journalism School graduate ('09) has cultivated a deep passion for sports journalism during his 13-year career covering the Big Sky Conference. In August of 2014, Colter and brother Brooks merged their passions of writing and art to found Skyline Sports.

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