Tarleton State University in Stephenville will delay football until the spring semester due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the school's athletic department announced Monday.
Tarleton State plays football as an independent -- unaffiliated with a conference -- after joining the Western Athletic Conference in July. The WAC does not sponsor college football, so the university made the decision to postpone independent of a conference.
"The health and well-being of our student-athletes, as well as our fans, staff and all the students of Tarleton State University, has always been our top priority," vice president of intercollegiate athletics Lonn Reisman said.
Tarleton State was scheduled to play 11 games this fall, including seven against other FCS programs. The athletic department said it would contact season ticket holders about their "season ticket protection policy."
"This is not an easy decision to make," Reisman said. "There are a lot of people who want to see Tarleton take the field at the NCAA Division I level – I am one of them – but we have to prioritize the safety of everyone on our campus above all else. We've worked hard to keep our student-athletes safe as they returned to campus. As difficult a decision as this is, we feel like we need to wait to participate until there is a safe return protocol at the end of this pandemic."