Another FBS conference has postponed its 2020 football season, as the Mountain West Conference announced the move in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our students, student-athletes, coaches, faculty, staff and overall communities,” said Dr. Mary Papazian, President at San Jose State University and Chair of the MW Board of Directors. “Through the hard work of many over the past several months, the Conference made every effort to create an opportunity for our student-athletes to compete, and we empathize with the disappointment this creates for everyone associated with our programs. The best interests of our students and student-athletes remain our focus and we will persist in our efforts to forge a viable and responsible path forward.”
Today’s decision affects all fall sports, including men’s and women’s cross country, football, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball (with the exception of the unique circumstances involved with the military service academies). The current goal is a postponement of the season, with schools looking to reschedule competitions in the spring.
“Since the start of the pandemic, our membership and staff have been working diligently to prepare for a fall sports season,” said MW Commissioner Craig Thompson. “We were hopeful we could carefully and responsibly conduct competition as originally scheduled with essential protocols in place. However, numerous external factors and unknowns outside our control made this difficult decision necessary. I fully understand the impact of this outcome on our student- athletes, coaches, administrators and staff who work so hard daily to play the sports we all love, and I share in their disappointment. We will continue to navigate this pandemic together, overcome the obstacles and return to intercollegiate athletics at the earliest opportunity.”
As noted, the Mountain West Conference is the second FBS conference to postpone the 2020 football season, joining the Mid-American Conference.
It would not be surprising if more FBS conferences canceled their seasons, but the status of the Power 5 is up in the air. This morning several media outlets were reporting that the Big Ten had voted to postpone the 2020 season, but as the day unwound that reporting became a little unwound. The Pac-12 is expected to discuss a season postponement tomorrow (Tuesday).
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