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Stout football preparing for all scenarios

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Menomonie (WQOW) - UW-Stout head football coach Clayt Birmingham is preparing his team for all options this season.

That could mean seven games, five games, or zero games.

The Blue Devils' first three contests of the 2020 season have been canceled after two opponents announced Thursday they had dropped non-conference games.

The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference has not announced its plans for the fall season, but very well could cancel all non-conference contests.

That would leave seven WIAC games on the football schedule, but Birmingham said conference leaders are discussing a 5-game season.

A new waiver from the NCAA would allow athletes to retain eligibility if their team completes 50 percent or less of the season schedule.

"I think what they want us to do is to start polling our players a little bit," Birmingham said. "They really want to look at what the students want, not what we want."

Birmingham is not sure how the conference would poll everyone, but suggested each team could poll its players and then report to the WIAC.

He also said the WIAC would need to set the schedule for the 5-game season.

The Blue Devils are scheduled to report to camp on August 12, but with no game on the schedule until October 3, Birmingham would like to push the start of practice to September.

"Then we have a full month of practice. We don't need two months of practice," he said.

Ultimately, NCAA rules for the return to play will determine when the Blue Devils report, Birmingham said.

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Nick Tabbert

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