Sacramento State, a member of Football Championship Subdivision's powerful Big Sky Conference, announced via press release Thursday afternoon that the school had elected to opt-out of its rescheduled 2021 spring football season.
After nabbing a share of the Big Sky title in 2019 and advancing into the FCS playoffs, the Hornets declared they will not play another game until the scheduled fall 2021 season.
Rather than cite concern about the potential lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sacramento State officials pointed to the potentially short turnaround time of an modified spring season before a scheduled '21 campaign that had been set to open Sept. 4, 2021, against Dixie State.
The NCAA did approve a spring playoffs format and championship game, barring changes, that would not conclude until mid-May.
"After thoughtful deliberation, we have determined that it is in the best interest of both our student-athletes and our football program to opt out of a possible spring football season," Sacramento State head coach Troy Taylor said in the school's release. "Our concern regarding the effects of a short turnaround and recovery time from a spring season to a fall season, in our opinion, were too big of a health risk.
“Obviously, we are disappointed in not having a football season this year. But we are already striving and preparing for the 2021 fall season."
Added Sacramento State President Dr. Robert S. Nelson, "I agree with Coach (Taylor). It is disappointing. COVID-19 has brought many disappointments, and we are sad. But postponing our fall season due to COVID, and opting out of spring due to the truncated season and the risks it could cause to our players' wellbeing, are not the biggest disappointments brought on by the pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have died from this disease. We want to play football, but we want – we need – to keep the Hornet family safe."