COVID-19 conditions, IHSA decision force changes for state recruiting

COVID-19 conditions, IHSA decision force changes for state recruiting
As decisions continue to be made and delayed for a possible fall college football season, recruiting is also heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s a huge impact,” Rivals recruiting analyst “Edgy Tim” O’Halloran told Prairie State Pigskin last week. “Just the seniors alone, it’s really hard to swallow. You’re competing against all these kids from... Read more »

No fall Missouri Valley Football Conference games for three Illinois schools

No fall Missouri Valley Football Conference games for three Illinois schools
The Missouri Valley Football Conference, which includes three Illinois FCS programs, announced Friday that it will not hold a fall league schedule because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Following a vote by its Presidents Council, the conference will play an eight-game, league-only schedule with hopes there will be a Football Championship Subdivision playoff after the season. Illinois State,... Read more »

SIU's first steps onto field are cautious amid COVID-19

SIU's first steps onto field are cautious amid COVID-19
When Nick Hill joins the Missouri Valley Football Conference’s weekly conference call with other head coaches today, he expects a few questions from his colleagues. Hill, the head coach at Southern Illinois, and his team began fall training camp late last week in advance of its scheduled Aug. 29 season opener at Kansas. “We’re one... Read more »
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Up for your consideration: A regionally based FCS 'league' featuring Illinois teams

Up for your consideration: A regionally based FCS 'league' featuring Illinois teams
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted life as we know it. The world of intercollegiate sports has been thrown upside down with last spring’s activities being cancelled and the uncertainty of this fall looming. At last check, seven of the 13 FCS conferences are still trying to have a fall season. Two of those seven are the... Read more »

No definitive answers as Illinois FCS programs begin fall camps

No definitive answers as Illinois FCS programs begin fall camps
As the calendar flips from July to August and teams open camps, in many ways Illinois’ four FCS programs are no closer to answers than when spring arrived and then turned into summer. The two biggest questions remain: Will there be a season? If so, what does that season look like? As of now, seven of... Read more »

Driven by winning, SIU quarterback Lyles makes off-season count

Driven by winning, SIU quarterback Lyles makes off-season count
After college football programs across the country shut down workouts in March, Kare’ Lyles was at a loss. “I spent two weeks just trying to get a grasp on what was going on,” said Lyles, the starting quarterback who led Southern Illinois to a 7-5 record last season, its best since 2013. Longing to keep... Read more »
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To play or not to play? A decision could be coming for Ohio Valley Conference, EIU next week

To play or not to play? A decision could be coming for Ohio Valley Conference, EIU next week
On a day when Eastern Illinois had two players honored by the Ohio Valley Conference, the league’s commissioner addressed growing concerns that the fall season may be altered or even outright cancelled. EIU redshirt junior wide receiver Isaiah Hill and senior linebacker Dytarious Johnson were named to the All-Ohio Valley Conference preseason team. As of now,... Read more »

Moving the Chains with … WIU director of strength and conditioning Jon Minnis

Moving the Chains with … WIU director of strength and conditioning Jon Minnis
Jon Minnis has owned his own athletic training business in Iowa, served in the Navy overseas and grew up in a small town in his home state. Now, he’s back in Macomb for the second time. Minnis, who has a master’s degree in kinesiology from WIU, returned in March to take over as the school’s... Read more »

Big Ten decision leaves Illinois FCS programs scrambling

Big Ten decision leaves Illinois FCS programs scrambling
A day after the Big Ten announced it will go to a conference-only season for all fall sports, including football, in the midst of “unprecedented times” during the coronavirus pandemic, FCS conferences are now scrambling to find potential games to fill voids in their own schedules. Thursday’s announcement means that Missouri Valley Football Conference members Illinois... Read more »
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If fall brings football for the OVC, 'It’s going to look very different in terms of structure'

If fall brings football for the OVC, 'It’s going to look very different in terms of structure'
“It’s an interesting time. We sure hope so is the best answer. All of us are working very hard and trying very hard to plan for a football season this fall. Obviously, everyone in Division I football wants there to be a football season coming up here in a month plus, but we need to... Read more »