YSU Football Nixes Fall Games, Will Resume in Spring

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown State University Penguins football team will not play any games this fall, athletic director Ron Strollo has announced.

Instead, the team will spend the fall getting ready for a slate of Missouri Valley Football Conference games in the spring. The conference previously delayed its conference scheduled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but allowed members to play nonconference games in the fall if they wished.

YSU’s scheduled opponents – University of Akron, Duquesne University and Eastern Kentucky University – have all canceled their seasons. As late as Friday, Strollo said the school was in talks with Football Bowl Subdivision teams to play games, but those games did not materialize. In an interview with The Business Journal, he said among the schools being considered were University of Pittsburgh and University of Cincinnati.

“After much consideration we have decided that it’s in the best interest of our football student-athletes and staff to not have competitions this fall,” Strollo said in a statement Monday. “At this point in time, planning for a spring season is the right decision. We will work with our coaches and student-athletes to do our best to make that happen.”

First-year head coach Doug Phillips said he was disappointed there will be no football games until the spring, but he understands the obstacles of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We preach every day to thrive in all situations so we will use our time this fall to work together to become a better football program,” Phillips said. “We will continue to support our student-athletes in everything and our expectations for them to represent YSU in a positive manner on and off the field will not change.”

Information for season ticket holders will be available as the spring football seasons gets closer, Strollo said in a statement.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.