NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The Mountain West Conference announced Monday the indefinite postponement of all scheduled fall sports contests and MW championship events in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a Mountain West press release, the MW Board of Directors prioritized the physical and mental health and well-being of the Conference’s student-athletes and overall campus communities in its decision to postpone.
“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 in the same press release Monday, President at San José 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.”
The Mountain West says fall sports affected by Monday’s decision include 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). They also said last week, the league announced that all fall competition in the sports of men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, softball and baseball were canceled. However, they say there are ongoing discussions regarding the status of winter sports.
The Mountain West says they will begin to explore the feasibility of rescheduling fall sports competition, including the possibility of those sports competing in the spring, and develop options for consideration. The Mountain West says athletically-related activities and training opportunities for enrolled student-athletes will also be evaluated consistent with NCAA legislation and guidance, as well as state, local and campus parameters.
“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 in the same press release. “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.”