Pitt State prepares for fall football; basketball season expected to begin as planned

The Gorillas are scheduled to play five football games between October 31st and November 28th.

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Pittsburg State will have a chance to play football this fall.

“We still have work to do. We still have to keep everybody healthy,” says Pitt State Director of Athletics Jim Johnson, “We’re not to the finish line yet. We still have a ways to go. Hopefully we can play this schedule we have put together.”

The school has announced plans to play five football games from October 31st to November 28th, instead of waiting until spring.

“Having a new coaching staff, we felt like it was important to play this fall, if at all possible,” Johnson adds, “They only had two practices in the spring. There’s quite a bit of energy out there right now, knowing as they go through practice there’s light at the end of the tunnel to play a game.”

Pitt State says another reason for the decision to play football in the fall was to give back to its fans, although the gameday experience will not be what it has been in the past.

“It will be a scaled-down version, certainly, of what we’re used to on gameday,” Johnson says, “To be able to have some fans in the stands, the folks at the county health department were really helpful to help us work through that, and to make a plan that everybody felt good about.”

“That’s what’s been important as we’ve worked our way though this, is making sure to customize the approach to each sport and competition to best meet the student-athletes needs in that particular sport,” says Pitt State President Steve Scott.

Gorilla volleyball will play its schedule in the spring.

The school expects its basketball season to begin on time, but they are currently working on gameday guidelines to make that happen.

“We’ve been working on that for a while, and I think we’ll be trying to finalize some of that in the next ten days or so,” Johnson says, “Basketball is a little bit easier. We’re only playing a conference schedule, so whatever we can decide on as a league, everybody will be doing the same thing. Our goal is to do everything we possibly can as a conference to get all 22 of those in.”

The school stresses that although they have plans to play, COVID-19 could still derail their new schedules.

“Friday night a game could get canceled, or Saturday morning a game could get canceled. That’s a possibility,” Johnson says about the upcoming football season, “That’s why we have to continue to be diligent and smart about what we’re doing. Our players so far have done a nice job of that.”

Pitt State has started testing its student-athletes for COVID-19 this week. According to the school they have tested 193 athletes, with 6 of those tests coming back positive.

The Gorillas will play their football home opener on October 31st against Nebraska-Kearney. Tickets for that game went on sale Tuesday. Below is their complete football schedule.

October 31st vs. Nebraska-Kearney (12:05 PM)

November 7th @ Missouri Western (3:00 PM)

November 14th @ Stephen F. Austin (4:00 PM)

November 21st vs. Western Colorado (3:00 PM)

November 28th @ West Texas A&M (TBA)