STEPHENVILLE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Monday morning administrators at Tarleton State University, in Stephenville, announced that the football season is being delayed until spring.
Officials said they came to the decision because of COVID-19 safety and scheduling concerns with universities across the country.
It was just on July 1 when Tarleton became a Division I independent team after joining the Western Athletic Conference. The WAC doesn’t sponsor college football, so the school had to enter the division as an independent.
“This is not an easy decision to make,” he continued. “There are a lot of people who want to see Tarleton take the field at the NCAA Division I level – I am one of them – but we have to prioritize the safety of everyone on our campus above all else,” Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Lonn Reisman said in a statement. “We’ve worked hard to keep our student-athletes safe as they returned to campus. As difficult a decision as this is, we feel like we need to wait to participate until there is a safe return protocol at the end of this pandemic.”
On August 5, the NCAA Board of Governors issued a set of requirements for competing in the fall. One of the requirements was that 50-percent of playoff eligible teams must compete for there to be NCAA championships. According to HeroSports.com, as of 3 p.m. Friday, following the postponement of the Big Sky Conference and Pioneer Football League, only 39.5 percent of FCS schools remained willing to compete in the fall.
The Tarleton Texans had been scheduled to play 11 games in their inaugural Division I season, including seven games against other FCS programs.
Reisman ended the statement saying, “It’s been difficult, there’s no doubt about that, but I’m confident that we will get through this and 2021 will be the best season in the history of Tarleton State University.”
Stephenville is about 70 miles southwest of Fort Worth.