NCAA

James Madison won't play football this fall, will focus on potential spring season

NCAA

FCS power James Madison is no longer pursuing a season this fall and instead will shift its focus to potentially playing in the spring semester, the university announced Friday.

James Madison, which has appeared in three of the last four national championship games - winning the title in 2016 - said in a statement, "With nationwide developments over the course of the week and the impending postponement of the NCAA FCS championship (playoffs), James Madison has suspended its fall football season. Department focus has shifted, in collaboration with the Colonial Athletic Association and the NCAA, to exploration of a spring competitive football season."

CAA Football suspended its season on July 17 due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, but it allowed for members such as James Madison to seek a season independent of the conference. Dukes athletic director Jeff Bourne his program would pursue that opportunity as long as health conditions were deemed safe and the NCAA staged its annual playoffs in the fall semester.

With at least eight of the 13 FCS conferences having already canceled on a fall season, the number of potential schools participating in the regular season - well below 50 percent - will not meet what the NCAA is requiring for playoffs.

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