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Illinois State opts out of spring FCS season

Illinois State will not complete the remainder of its spring season. The Redbirds announced Monday they are opting out of the Missouri Valley's spring campaign, ending their season at 1-3.

Redbirds head coach Brock Spack cited injuries, specifically along the defensive line, as the primary driver for the decision. Continuing this season would have risked the health of the remaining healthy Redbirds while also jeopardizing the team's ability to compete and thrive in the fall.

"I have wrestled with this decision for a couple weeks now, but I feel like it's a necessary move to protect our player's health and safety and their ability to be ready come this fall," Spack said. "Injuries at key positions, especially on the defensive line where we suffered two more setbacks yesterday, have made it nearly impossible for us to play this week and extremely difficult for us to compete in the remaining four games. We appreciate all the support and hard work put in by so many in the ISU Athletics Department and on campus to get us to this point during these challenging times."

Illinois State opened the year with losses to South Dakota, Northern Iowa and North Dakota State before defeating Western Illinois on Saturday, the impromptu season finale.

In canceling the season, Illinois State has opted out of the remaining games:

March 27 -- at South Dakota State
April 3 -- vs. Southern Illinois
April 10 -- vs. North Dakota
April 17 -- at Missouri State

"I fully support Brock and his decision to cut the season short, especially when it comes to the health, safety and development of our student-athletes," ISU AD Kyle Brennan said. "The University, staff, donors and fans have dedicated their time and resources to make the previous four games this spring a success. In addition, we recognize that there has been much hard work by the Big Red Marching Machine, color guard, twirlers, Redline Express dance and cheer teams to prepare for the spring season. In the end, the health and safety of our student-athletes must always be our top priority. We look forward to getting healthy in the coming months and are excited for what should be a memorable fall 2021 campaign."

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.