NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – On Tuesday, July 21, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham sent out a letter to the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University asking them to postpone fall contact sports due to the coronavirus.

Earlier this month Gov. Lujan Grisham ordered the New Mexico Activities Association to postpone all fall contact sports at the high school level until 2021. Now she is urging UNM and NMSU to do the same.

“It is therefore critical that you postpone collegiate athletics in this moment of escalating danger. This is an essential step we must take if we are to return to some safe and balanced new
normal as quickly as possible. We must fight this virus with all the tools at our disposal – including
physical distancing and the avoidance of close contact with others – so we can regain control of
the spread and resume the daily activities that have been torn from us during this pandemic,” says the governor in the letter.

The governor later writes that she knows what she is asking is a difficult decision.

“I know what I am asking you to contemplate is difficult and unprecedented, but these are difficult and unprecedented times,” Lujan Grisham wrote. “Fighting COVID-19 is a team sport. I am asking each of you to join me and take it upon yourselves to do everything you can to fight COVID-19. Together we can protect all New Mexicans, and if we are successful, we can resume contact sports and re-engage in the camaraderie and joy they bring all of us in a safe manner as soon as we can.”

The letter also mentioned how the number of young people with the virus has spiked in New Mexico.

KRQE spoke with Eddie Nunez, the athletic director for UNM about the letter. He said they respect the governor’s stance and will continue to monitor the situation.

“As we get further along with the NCAA and the Mountain West and when a decision is rendered kind of where football or fall sports are going that we have an opportunity to sit down again with her office and be able to have those conversations and see at that point where we go from there,” said Nunez.

Statement from New Mexico State University

“We are actively monitoring this ever-changing landscape with regard to intercollegiate athletics and following the decision being made by the NCAA, the conferences and other associated bodies. We are also in continuous conversations with health experts in the state and our campus.

While we have not yet made any decisions with regard to altering our fall schedule our commitment is to do what’s best for our student-athletes and our programs.”

Read Full Letter From Gov. Lujan Grisham