The list of conferences that won't have a fall season due to the COVID-19 pandemic is growing, with the Big Sky and Pioneer League announcing their intentions on Friday and raising a list that includes the CAA, Ivy, MEAC, Northeast, Patriot and SWAC to eight. The Missouri Valley is allowing only nonconference games, which means the Big South, Ohio Valley, Southern and Southland are the only conferences still determining their direction. The schools and conferences that move forward with a fall season have the right to do if they continue to meet various COVID-19 protocols.
The number fell below the threshold on Friday after both the Pioneer Football League and Big Sky Conference announced they won't have fall competition due to concerns over the COVID-19 global pandemic. The number of schools not playing is nearing 75 out of 127 programs, factoring in a few CAA schools considering independent schedules and Big South members Hampton and Monmouth opting out of playing even if their conference has a regular season.
The governing body set Aug. 21 as the deadline for individual sports across its three levels to determine whether it can safely have a regular season and postseason during the COVID-19 pandemic. It said the FCS - the 127-member lower half of D-I college football - will only have a playoff if at least 50 percent of eligible programs play this fall, and the 24-team event can be reduced in size. The board of governors, the highest ruling committee at the NCAA, did not use its authority to determine whether there would be championship events in 22 sports.