West Virginia officially cancels spring football game after Big 12 ruling

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — As expected, there will be no spring football at West Virginia or anywhere else in the Big 12 this year.

Sunday night, the conference announced that it was suspending all team activities effective through May 31. The suspension includes “team and individual practices, meetings and other organized gatherings.”

However, the league also loosened its restrictions on virtual meetings. Teams have been allowed to conduct video communication, but could not discuss their playbooks or anything football-related.

Per the updated rules, “Film study, technical discussions, tactical sessions and other non-physical activities may take place virtually but are limited to two hours per week in all sports.”

Upon the league’s ruling, West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons formally canceled the spring game, which had been scheduled for April 18.

“We continue to work with the Big 12 and our medical professionals to ensure the safety of our student-athletes, University and community,” Lyons said in a school release. “Extending the deadline of all athletic activities necessitates the cancellation of our spring football game. We will continue to work with the Big 12 to come up a fair and competitive plan for our athletic teams as we approach May 31.”

Mountaineers coach Neal Brown said the conference is making the right call as COVID-19 continues to spread.

“It’s disappointing for our players and fans that the Gold-Blue Spring Game is canceled. The game is the highlight of the spring for everyone,” Brown said. “These are very serious times, and this is the right decision. We need to do everything we can to protect our student-athletes, University, state and community.

“Last year’s spring game was a great day, and let’s work to bring the event back bigger and better next April.”

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