HUNTINGTON — Marshall’s Big Green Scholarship Foundation has announced several schedule changes to upcoming fundraising events, according to a release.
The cancellation and postponement of events is occurring due to recommendations by national health professionals to refrain from large gatherings in an effort to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
“We’re going to try to see if we can schedule events at a later date,” Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick said. “It’s fluid and it’s day-to-day, as is everything right now. Most events are postponed, not canceled.”
The most notable postponement of those announced includes the annual HERDSPYs and Big Green Endowment Dinner, scheduled for April 24 and set to include former West Virginia and Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden as its featured speaker.
Bowden, 90, aided Marshall’s coaching staff in 1970 while at West Virginia, giving him a unique insight to the Marshall plane tragedy as it comes up on its 50th anniversary. However, due to age and health risks associated with the current coronavirus, officials deemed it best to postpone the event until a later time in hopes of rescheduling with Bowden’s involvement.
“He wouldn’t be able to come if we did it now,” Hamrick said. “It would be great to have and we still could have it, especially with Bobby Bowden, but again, our goal is to try to reschedule it down the road, depending on where we all go with this effort.”
Most of the events affected by postponements involved the April 24-25 weekend, which included the Fountain Ceremony and Spring Football Scrimmage, both scheduled for April 25.
With Marshall’s announcement on Thursday morning that instruction would take place online throughout the end of the spring 2020 semester, students are not even permitted to return to campus until receiving clearance from the university.
Conference USA also put an end to spring football practices with a formal announcement on Thursday evening, which essentially ended the chance for the annual Spring Football Scrimmage on April 25.
The Football Alumni Golf Tournament, also scheduled for the morning of April 24, has been postponed, as have the May and June dates for the Big Green Coaches Tour.
Hamrick said the athletic department has already looked into shifting the dates and locations of the Big Green Coaches Tour for the summer.
To date, only one other event has been officially canceled — that being the Men’s Basketball Awards Banquet, which was scheduled for April 11.