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Suspended or canceled? The status of every Utah Division I football program in spring

By Sean Walker, KSL.com | Posted - Mar. 22, 2020 at 2:18 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — It’s been a long week in college football, and it’s still the offseason.

But after the novel coronavirus interrupted all sports across the board over the past 10 days, it’s hard to see how football can co-exist in a world of social distancing and shutdowns in nearly every area of American life.

Here’s where spring football stands at each Division I university in Utah, including the Beehive State’s newest member of the ranks in St. George.

In addition to the steps listed below, each university is under a federally mandated recruiting dead period by the NCAA, meaning teams cannot travel for recruiting purposes or host recruits on campus. Phone calls, text messages and video chats are permitted under NCAA rules.

BYU

BYU football is still suspended indefinitely, under the same order that halted all spring sports and practices from March 12, roughly one week into spring football. The Cougars’ pro day, originally scheduled for March 27, has been cancelled.

It hasn’t all been bad news; the Cougars announced Harvey Unga as running backs coach this past week.

Utah

The Utes halted all organized athletic activities, including spring football, indefinitely in alignment with the Pac-12’s decision on March 13. A day later, the Pac-12 cancelled spring sports that competed "through the end of the academic year."

All other athletic-related activities have been postponed until at least March 29, when the conference will reassess the situation.

Utah State

The Aggies barely got through one day of spring football before the school, in conjunction with the Mountain West Conference, suspended all spring activities.

On Friday, the university announced it had postponed or canceled all spring sports and activities through at least April 15. Utah State’s pro day, which was originally scheduled for March 25, was canceled, as well as the spring football game (April 9) and the Whitesides Scholar-Athlete Luncheon, which is held annually in April.

Additionally, all Utah State athletic facilities, including Maverik Stadium, the Dee Glenn Smith Spectrum and the Laub Indoor Training Facility, have been closed indefinitely.

Weber State

The Big Sky Conference canceled all spring sports, competitions and championships back on March 18. The decision came two days after Weber State moved to "prohibit all organized team athletically related activities" indefinitely, beginning the morning of March 16.

No timetable has been given for a possible resumption of activities.

Southern Utah

The Thunderbirds opened spring football on March 11 and were originally scheduled to run through April 15, with the annual spring game scheduled for April 11. SUU’s pro day was also canceled.

But following the Big Sky’s moratorium on spring sports, SUU president Scott Wyatt called for spring football to be canceled, commencement to be postponed, and the school’s classes to shift online.

Dixie State

Dixie State’s final season in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and NCAA Division II ended when the league cancelled the 2020 spring sports season in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That means the Trailblazers’ 14-year run in NCAA Division II is official over. They’ll move to Division I and the Western Athletic Conference in all sports by football (which will compete as an FCS independent) beginning July 1.

"As disappointing as it is right now, we will look back with incredible pride on our D-II accomplishments," athletic director Jason Boothe said in a statement from the university. "July 1 will be here before you know it and we have some work to do between now and then, but we will be ready. The upcoming fall semester will bring tremendous excitement and change as we enter the WAC and D-I."

Dixie State will open its inaugural Division I campaign Sept. 5 at Southern Utah. The Trailblazers’ first home game is scheduled for Sept. 12 against South Dakota School of Mines.

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