By Ray Hamill — The Big Ten’s big announcement on Wednesday that the conference will play football this fall could have a trickle down effect.
The news brought a reaction from both the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and Mountain West Conference, which feature multiple former H-DNL players.
Former McKinleyville standout Bryce Petersen is a senior and preseason all-conference center for the Akron Zips, who play in the MAC, and the conference commissioner said on Wednesday that the conference continues to focus on a spring season.
The Mountain West commissioner, however, also released a statement in response to the Big Ten decision, saying that they are working to facilitate a return to football and other fall sports “at the earliest possible opportunity.”
There are two local players who play in the Mountain West — former Eureka offensive lineman Isaak Gutierrez, a sophomore who transferred earlier this year from Butte College to the University of New Mexico, and former McKinleyville standout Kyle Spalding a senior offensive tackle at San Diego State.
A fourth local player playing this year at the Division-I level — Eureka’s Miles Meynell — is a freshman at UC Davis, which plays in the Big Sky Conference and is not expected to play until the spring.
The emergence of rapid-testing programs was reportedly a driving factor in the Big Ten’s reversal.
In the wake of the announcement, the PAC-12 — now the only Power Five conference not scheduled to play football this fall — said in a statement it is unlikely they will see football this fall.
It was also reported on Wednesday that the men’s and women’s NCAA Division-I basketball seasons are likely to begin in late November.
That’s good news for former Eureka standout Alana Busby-Dunphy, who recently joined the Alabama women’s team.