However, several Lone Star Conference schools still expect to play football in the spring. The seasons will just officially be classified as independent and there will be no conference championship on the line.
The decision comes as several Lone Star Conference teams weigh playing a spring season at all. Conference heavyweight Texas A&M-Commerce has committed to not playing for the entire school year. Both Eastern New Mexico and Western New Mexico will also face difficulties in playing football due to New Mexico state regulations.
Additionally, Angelo State and West Texas A&M both played limited football schedules in the fall. Sources confirmed that Angelo State will not play spring football. WTAMU is also expected to opt out of the spring.
If all the aforementioned schools opt ouf of a spring season, the only schools expected to play would be Midwestern State, Texas A&M-Kingsville and UTPB. Lone Star Conference bylaws state that at least four member institutions must participate in a sport in order to compete for a conference championship.
“While we’re disappointed the spring 2021 conference schedule won’t take place, UTPB Football plans to compete," UTPB said in a statement. "We are actively working with other LSC members to add games to our previously announced non-conference schedule. We believe it’s important to afford our football student-athletes a meaningful competition schedule.”
The LSC is far from the only conference dealing with split membership when it comes to spring football. The FCS Southland Conference will be without multiple schools in the spring after Stephen F. Austin, Houston Baptist and Abilene Christian and others opted to play in the fall.
Small college football was pushed to the spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, spring football is about to start right as the pandemic reaches its climax.
On Sept. 5, 2020 – the original scheduled start to the season – the U.S. was averaging about 40,000 new cases per day. Over the weekend, the U.S. was averaging nearly 225,000 new cases per day. The United States will pass 400,000 deaths due to COVID-19 this week.
The spring small college football season kicks off with Mary Hardin-Baylor traveling to Belhaven University on Feb. 6.
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