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.
The seven that have remained hopeful with having a fall season must determine their direction following Tuesday's NCAA Board of Governors meeting, where discussion centered around potential competition during the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting ended without any immediate announcement, although NCAA president Mark Emmert later said one will be made on Wednesday. Whether the NCAA will sponsor its 22 championship events, including the FCS playoffs, was a key topic.
Amid all the swirling talk about whether or not there will be college football this fall, teams that have a Week Zero game scheduled for Aug. 29 were allowed to begin preseason camp one week prior to those that kick off their campaign in Week 1 in early September. Schedules are in flux nationally due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Southern Illinois announced last weekend it added an Aug. 29 game at Big 12 member Kansas, and that made the Salukis eligible to be among the first FCS teams to get going on Friday. The Missouri Valley Football Conference program is beginning its fifth season under coach Nick Hill after finishing 7-5 last year.