The Big Sky Conference postponed its football season to the spring because of the coronavirus pandemic and called for the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs to be moved to the second semester as well.

The Big Sky’s decision all but officially ends any chance of the FCS playoffs being held in the fall. Earlier in the week, the NCAA announced each of its three divisions would determine whether national championship events should be held in fall sports. The NCAA said if more than 50% of schools that compete in a sport did not compete in a regular season, the championship would be canceled.

With the Big Sky’s postponement and the Pioneer Football League’s decision to also postpone its season, more than 70 of the 127 FCS schools have said they will not play in the fall.

The 11-team Pioneer League spans from the Midwest to the West Coast. The conference said in a statement the challenges related to team travel, meeting state, local and institutional health requirements and COVID-19 mitigation strategies led to the decision. The Pioneer League said it would consider playing a football season at another point in the school year if feasible.

The Big Sky, traditionally one of the strongest FCS conferences with Montana, Eastern Washington and Montana State, said it will attempt to play an eight-game conference schedule in the spring.

SEC: The Southeastern Conference will require football players and others in direct contact with the program to be tested at least twice weekly during the season.

The league released its initial COVID-19 requirements for fall sports, including football. In football, the testing will typically come six days and three days before competition.

Coaches, staff and other personnel will be required to wear face coverings on the sidelines.

The initial guidelines include testing requirements, procedures for infections and contact tracing and protocols for quarantine and isolation.

MARYLAND: The NCAA approved quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa’s transfer waiver and he will be immediately eligible to play, the team announced.

The news came and after Coach Mike Locskley’s announcement Friday morning that Josh Jackson, last year’s starting quarterback, has opted out of the season because of coronavirus concerns.

Tagovailoa, the brother of former Alabama star and Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, announced in May that he was transferring from Alabama to join the Terps.

Jackson is the most prominent of six Maryland players who have decided not to play for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Locksley said during a teleconference. Jackson played 10 games last year for Maryland after transferring from Virginia Tech. He completed 98 of 207 passes for 1,274 yards, with 12 touchdowns with six interceptions.

His backup was Tyrrell Pigrome, who transferred to Western Kentucky during the offseason.

Tagovailoa, a sophomore, is likely to compete for the starting quarterback job against redshirt freshman Lance LeGendre, the team’s only other scholarship quarterback.

DUKE: Coach David Cutcliffe says long snapper Ben Wyatt and offensive tackle Jacob Rimmer have opted out of playing this season because of concerns about the coronavirus.

Cutcliffe spoke after his team’s first preseason practice, saying Wyatt and Rimmer “just weren’t comfortable with playing.” He said both would remain on scholarship as they work toward earning their degrees this spring.

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