SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento State has elected to opt out of the proposed Big Sky Conference 2021 spring football season, it was announced today.
“After thoughtful deliberation we have determined that it is in the best interest of both our student-athletes and our football program to opt out of a possible spring football season,” Sacramento State head coach Troy Taylor said. “Our concern regarding the effects of a short turnaround and recovery time from a spring season to a fall season, in our opinion, were too big of a health risk. Obviously, we are disappointed in not having a football season this year. But we are already striving and preparing for the 2021 fall season.”
“I agree with Coach (Taylor),” Sacramento State President Dr. Robert S. Nelsen said. “It is disappointing. COVID-19 has brought many disappointments, and we are sad. But postponing our fall season due to COVID, and opting out of spring due to the truncated season and the risks it could cause to our players’ wellbeing, are not the biggest disappointments brought on by the pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have died from this disease. We want to play football, but we want – we need – to keep the Hornet family safe.”
The Hornets, who were the Big Sky co-champions in 2019, would have to play a spring season before the FCS playoffs. Those playoffs would run from late April and culminate with the championship game which will be held between May 14-16. The 2021 season is scheduled to begin on the final weekend of August and will feature 11 games before the standard 24-team playoff. A team advancing to the championship game in both seasons would play 26 games in less than 12 months.
“Student-athlete well-being is the driving factor in every decision we make,” Sacramento State Director of Athletics Mark Orr said. “In consultation with our health administrators and football coaching staff we have made the decision to not compete during a spring football season.”
Sacramento State will continue to prepare for the traditional 2021 fall season and will maintain scheduled practices and team activities throughout the 2020-21 academic year.