Commissioner – AD – Coach Weigh in on Fall Season Cancellation
A fitting place for a press conference to discuss the cancellation of the fall Grizzly football season, the field at Washington Grizzly Stadium.
That was the atmosphere as socially distanced Athletic Director Kent Haslam, Head Football Coach Bobby Hauck, pre-season Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year Jace Lewis and talented senior wide receiver Samuel Akem gathered before socially distanced reporters to answer questions about the sudden cancellation of fall football.
First, Big Sky Commissioner Tom Wistrcill described the end of long discussions about the upcoming fall season with a difficult decision.
“The last few days just realized that we couldn't safely pull off football the way we wanted it to be,” said Commissioner Wistrcill. “And so that's where we made the difficult decision to say we're not going to play football this fall and look towards the spring.”
On the field Friday afternoon, Athletic Director Kent Haslam opened the press conference.
“Everyone knows the news, certainly disappointing heartbreaking for our student athletes,” said Haslam. “This decision by the conference wasn't made without a lot of deliberation and a lot of discussion. I've seen way too much of my ad colleagues on ZOOM calls over the last three months, but it's been a good, open, honest discussion. This brings some closure.”
Haslam said now that the fall season is gone, it’s time to look forward to the possibility of spring football.
“I'm hopeful for the spring,” he said. “I'm hopeful for what that can become. I was able to meet with the team today at 10, and I was just so impressed with this group of young men and their coaches. They bring me great hope for the future with their optimism and their dedication, so we'll look forward to spring.”
Coach Hauck was obviously disappointed due to the talent this year’s team possesses and the hard work they’ve put in to training for the upcoming season.
“I'm really disappointed for everybody that's involved in Grizzly football,” said Coach Hauck. “There's a lot of rightfully generated excitement about it. The effort levels been unbelievable by our guys this summer, as I said, as well as the medical people, and the strength people that have gotten them ready, so to not be able to go is a really better pill, especially when you’ve got a team that's as tight as this one is.”
In his letter to Griz fans and season ticket holders, Haslam wrote:
‘Thank you once again for your support and patience. I know this decision was made with much deliberation and discussion. We will get through this pandemic together, and I look forward to a day when we all gather at Washington-Grizzly Stadium.’