MARYVILLE, Mo. — The chances for Northwest Missouri State football this fall may not be dead yet.
According to the Topeka Capital-Journal's Rafael Garcia, Washburn President Jerry Farwell told his Board of Regents that there is a possibility of football this fall and that there was an MIAA vote on bringing back just football this calendar year.
“Everything is on the table,” Northwest Missouri State Director of Athletics said. “Everything is fluid.”
The conference CEO Council, made up of the member schools' presidents, had previously voted to push all fall sports back until at least January. On Saturday, Stephen F. Austin announced they had scheduled a home football game with Pittsburg State for Nov. 14.
Peterson says the MIAA athletic directors did have a vote. That vote, which passed, was to keep everything on the table for the fall, but no specific plans were made.
“Everyone has been working behind the scenes to try and do something,” Peterson said. “Everybody is still working behind the scenes to figure out men’s and women’s basketball. It is all one-in-the-same in my mind. If you can play men’s and women’s basketball, you can play all your sports.”
Peterson says he is not aware of what the MIAA CEO Council voted on specifically in their meeting. The vote in that meeting was reportedly a 5-5 deadlock.
“It is just a wormhole like none other when you start talking about why are you playing, reasons to play, or budget, or student-athlete mental health,” Peterson said. “It is a nightmare in every scenario, you just have to find what works for you, your department, your campus and your community first.”
The Bearcat football team is set to open its practices on Monday, Sept. 28. He says the plan is to schedule practices like a normal in-season schedule right now regardless on if fall games are a possibility or not.
“When they have fall camp, it is usually three weeks,” Peterson said. “They usually have 21 practices from when they open camp to when they play a football game. If they had three weeks, they would be ready, one way or another.”
The reasoning behind moving football back to the fall, while other fall sports would be a possibility in the spring, is because the turnaround from a spring season to a fall season would be difficult on the student-athletes.
“Asking guys to play a bunch of games in the spring, then turn around and play a full season in the fall is a quick turnaround for a lot of people,” Peterson said. “Whereas you can play soccer, volleyball and all that stuff you can play somewhat of a full season in the spring and it not really affect you in the fall.”
Peterson says the MIAA and Northwest are also monitoring if the NCAA is going to move back the NCAA Division-II basketball championships. Moving that event back would allow basketball teams to play their entire seasons in the spring semester.
“We are kind of hoping, waiting, on the NCAA to make a decision on whether they are going to move our championship or not,” Peterson said. “That is kind of a waiting game in and of itself.
“… It depends on who you talk to and when you talk to them on if coaches even want to do that or not and if that is the best thing for our student athletes or not. It is the same thing as football, it is a wormhole that you can’t really get out of once you start thinking about it.”
The MIAA athletic directors remain in consistent contact with one another and Peterson says the CEO Council has another meeting coming soon to discuss the winter sports season where the fall sports may be a topic as well.
“Everything is on the table, still is, always has been,” Peterson said. “We are just trying to make sure we do what is right, what is best and what is feasible.”