Mountain West Conference fall sports have been postponed after a vote by conference presidents on Monday, Aug. 5.
“We were hopeful we could carefully and responsibly conduct competition as originally scheduled with essential protocols in place,” Mountain West Commissioner, Craig Thompson said in a press statement. “However, numerous external factors and unknowns outside our control made this difficult decision necessary.”
The decision was made to protect campus communities, student-athletes, team personnel and fans from the spread of the coronavirus.
Mountain West presidents are discussing the possibility of pushing fall sports into the spring. Team related activities for enrolled student-athletes will be evaluated by NCAA legislation and guidance.
“Can you put the fall into the spring? Can you play all of those sports? What does football look like in the spring? For months, we’ve all been saying nearly the same thing — last resort, only if we have to. Well, for the Mountain West, it’s the last resort, and only if we have to,” Thompson said.
The Mountain West is the second Football Bowl Subdivision conference to postpone its season and the Mid American Conference announced its postponement on Aug. 8.
On Aug. 5, the Mountain West announced a football schedule that included eight conference games and an option for two non-league games. The schedule was set to begin no earlier than the weekend of Sept. 26.
“Despite everything that has been thrown in their way over the last several months, our student-athletes, coaches and staff had been preparing for a 2020 season,” said Curt Apsey, Boise State athletic director. “They were ready for every possible uncertainty, but in the end, the physical and mental well-being of student-athletes across the conference necessitated today’s announcement.”
Boise State head football coach, Brian Harsin held a press conference the day after the decision was made to postpone the football season.
“I was extremely disappointed to learn yesterday that our fall football season was being postponed. Our players and staff have been working extremely hard in preparation for the 2020 season all while working to adhere to do as safely as possible. This team wanted to play, our coaches wanted to play, I wanted to play,” Harsin said.
Boise State elementary education major and Bronco football fan Bailey Wardle shared her thoughts on the canceled fall sports season.
“I understand why they are canceling sports, but it upsets me that the athletes can’t showcase all the work that they put in over the summer,” Wardle said. “It will be a weird fall in general, but no sports makes it worse.”
Football and other fall sports across the nation are in jeopardy as coaches and players have voiced their concerns about a college football season this fall.
Jon Drezner, University of Washington’s team physician and member of the Pac-12 medical advisory board explained why fall sports are not feasible this year in an interview with CBS sports.
“We are in the middle of a pandemic, our country is one of the worst controlled on the planet,” Drezner said. “We have more deaths than any country. We have cases surging all over the place. We haven’t done what we needed to do to play fall sports.”
Presidents of the Power 5 conferences held a meeting on Sunday, Aug. 9, to discuss the state of football. ESPN reported that Big Ten presidents are ready to back out of its fall sports season. Meetings amongst Power 5 conferences and schools are scheduled to meet throughout the week to discuss the fate of the season.
“The guys that have been here, and not everybody has been here every single day, but the guys that have been here are the guys that have been working out the guys that have been putting in the time, they’ve done a tremendous job,” Harsin said. “Our strength staff has done a great job getting our guys in shape because that was always the plan.”