NORMAL (HOI) — A day after Illinois State picked up its first win of the season, the team announces it’s opting out of the rest of the spring season.
The university said “the decision was made to protect the health and safety of the players and ensure their readiness for the upcoming 2021 fall 11-game slate.”
The Redbirds stumbled out of the gates this spring, losing their first three games of the season and struggling to replace all of the talent they lost to the NFL Draft and transfers who wanted to play last fall.
“I have wrestled with this decision for a couple weeks now, but I feel like it’s a necessary move to protect our player’s health and safety and their ability to be ready come this fall. Injuries at key positions, especially on the defensive line where we suffered two more setbacks yesterday, have made it nearly impossible for us to play this week and extremely difficult for us to compete in the remaining four games. We appreciate all the support and hard work put in by so many in the ISU Athletics Department and on campus to get us to this point during these challenging times,” said Illinois State Head Coach Brock Spack.
The decision means Illinois State won’t play its scheduled games with South Dakota State, Southern Illinois, North Dakota, and Missouri State.
“I fully support Brock and his decision to cut the season short, especially when it comes to the health, safety and development of our student-athletes. The University, staff, donors and fans have dedicated their time and resources to make the previous four games this spring a success. In addition, we recognize that there has been much hard work by the Big Red Marching Machine, color guard, twirlers, Redline Express dance and cheer teams to prepare for the spring season. In the end, the health and safety of our student-athletes must always be our top priority. We look forward to getting healthy in the coming months and are excited for what should be a memorable fall 2021 campaign,” said Illinois State Athletic Director Kyle Brennan.
Two of those four remaining games were scheduled to be played at Hancock Stadium. The ISU Athletics Department says those who have purchased tickets for the remaining two home games will be refunded at the rate purchased per game and the ticket office will reach out to ticket holders beginning Monday.