UCO Reacts to Delayed Fall Sports Season

Tuesday, July 21st 2020, 5:47 pm

The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association made a literal game-changing decision Monday, delaying the start of fall sports by a month.

That's the conference UCO is in.

On the surface the decision seems like it would be bad news for the Bronchos, but when you consider a handful of D-2 conferences have already gone a step further and sidelined fall sports all together, the school said they're just happy to eventually get on the field again.

"A week and a half ago, you probably didn't feel as good as you feel right now to be honest with you," said UCO football coach Nick Bobeck.

Bobeck was worried they might have the punt on the 2020 season. He's feeling optimistic but is also realistic.

"We want to play ball, we want to play football, but at the same time, we're not going to put our student athletes at risk. If things continue to deteriorate as far as the COVID-19 pandemic, then we'll pull the plug."

As of now, teams can start practicing August 31, and games can start September 28. The schedule shift affects seven teams at UCO and it reduces the football season from ten games down to seven.

"There is definitely a negative financial impact," said UCO Assistant AD Chris Brannick.

But Brannick said it's not a massive impact. Being a D-2 school, they don't have a huge reliance on ticket sales or streaming subscriptions.

"It's not quite the driving force that it is in some other institutions."

As for fans, the MIAA is allowing individual schools to make the decision on whether the stands will be open.

UCO said they're still discussing that.