The University of San Diego has won 37 straight Pioneer Football League games (the nation's longest active conference winning streak) and six straight conference championships. They might not get a chance to extend those streaks until next year.
The PFL's Presidents Council announced on Friday the conference will not play a fall football schedule due to COVID-19 concerns. With teams located in nine different states stretching from California to Iowa to Florida the PFL believes the challenges of safely traveling to and from games are too big of a risk.
“The Presidents and Athletic Directors of our respective universities made this very difficult decision after extensive deliberations and consideration of many factors," said PFL Chairman James M. Danko in a statement. "We recognize that our student-athletes will be disappointed, but our highest priority is the health and safety of all those involved in our athletic programs. Ultimately, the risks of proceeding are simply too high especially to ensure the safety of our students.”
The league did not rule out the possibility of doing what California high schools have done and moving the football schedule to the spring season, which would have games starting in January of 2021.
"If there is favorable change related to COVID-19, and if we are confident that we can protect the health and safety of all involved, we will fully explore competing in football during the spring semester," says USD Director of Athletics Bill McGillis. "I want that for our players if the environment on campus, in San Diego County and nationally will permit, and we will advocate aggressively that FCS football, including the national playoffs and championship, should move to the spring."
This decision only impacts the Toreros football program. The majority of USD's sports play in the West Coast Conference. As of now competition in the WCC is expected to begin by the end of September.
In another football-related note, San Diego State will not be starting full football practice on Friday as had originally been scheduled. With the start of their football season pushed back to late September the Aztecs will extend the walk-through and weight lifting sessions they've held for the last two weeks a while longer.