Valley to Summit: UND, Kansas State ADs still expecting matchup in the fall

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UND Athletic Director Bill Chaves introduces head men's basketball coach Paul Sather during a press conference in June 2019 at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

Editor's note: Valley to Summit is a semi-daily roundup of news impacting the UND football and basketball programs, as well as updates from around the Missouri Valley Football Conference and Summit League.

As colleges and their football programs wade through the uncertainty of the 2020 football season, UND athletic director Bill Chaves and Kansas State athletic director Gene Taylor are still operating under the simplest of terms: The Wildcats and the Fighting Hawks are still planning to play in the fall.

UND is scheduled to play in Manhattan, Kan., on Sept. 12.

Some college football models that have been projected have discussed only playing a conference schedule and others have specifically discussed FBS vs. FCS games on the chopping block.

"I think Gene has the same mindset as me," Chaves told the Herald's Brad Schlossman on Tuesday afternoon for a separate story on the Fighting Hawks' restart committee . "We're planning to play in the fall."


Chaves also spoke with WDAY's Dom Izzo on Wednesday.

"I'm optimistic," Chaves told Izzo. "Until we're told otherwise, we're 100 percent planning on playing."

A few days ago, Taylor -- during an "Ask the A.D." segment on Kansas State's athletic department website -- commented on what he's expecting in the fall.

“I don’t know, sometimes I think, and it’s not going to be my decision, it’s going to be governors and medical professionals, but you go to a baseball game and sit along the first- or third-base line and think, ‘You know what, I’m kind of taking a risk here,’” Taylor said. “Make sure you wear a mask and gloves and be safe.”

According to, Taylor said earlier this week that schools in the Big 12 Conference were likely to have their football players return to campus for voluntary workouts starting June 15.

“What we’re doing right now as a staff is we all enter through the Vanier main doors, you are asked a set of questions about symptoms, you get your temperature taken, and then you sign in," Taylor said. "When you’re in the public hallways, you’re always going to be wearing a mask. Now, when you get to your office and are by yourself, you can obviously take that mask off. Those kinds of things we’ll probably put in place for athletes when they come back.”


UND athletics adds CFO

UND and Eastern Washington haven't made formal announcements on the matter but an associate athletic director appears to be making the move from Cheney to Grand Forks.

Ryan Collingwood of the Spokesman Review happened to notice a change in Chad Karthauser's Twitter handle. A quick search of the Fighting Hawks website lists Karthauser as UND Athletics' new Chief Financial Officer.

UND's website says he joined the staff in April.

Karthauser worked with Chaves at EWU.

Four UND opponents ranked in first poll

Four of UND's 2020 football opponents were ranked in the FCS Hero Sports preseason poll, which was released Wednesday.

UND is slated to play No. 1 North Dakota State, No. 2 South Dakota State, No. 12 Illinois State and No. 22 Southern Illinois.

UND will also play at Portland State on Oct. 24. Portland State was listed under the Receiving Votes category.


-- South Dakota is expected to open the 2020 football season at Iowa State on Sept. 5. ISU athletic director Jamie Pollard said they "fully anticipate" playing football this fall, beginning at Jack Trice Stadium on Sept. 5. Per state safety guidelines, Pollard believes the stadium can allow 50 percent capacity (30,000). He said the school expects to reach that number through season tickets and doesn't plan to sell single-game tickets unless capacity limits are raised.


-- The Associated Press is reporting major cuts at Youngstown State, which is a member of the Missouri Valley Football Conference. According to the AP, four positions in the football program will be eliminated, but they don't include any on-field coaching personnel.

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019 and 2022.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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