Update: Mountain West cancels spring competitions, Fresno State athletics respond to cancellations

Courtesy of Fresno State Athletics

Update as of 5:11 p.m.:

The MW Board recently announced that they will be canceling all remaining spring sports competitions and MW Championships. This decision came after the NCAA canceled all of its winter and spring championships. 

The board added that they have established a moratorium on all on-campus and off-campus in-person recruiting activities for the foreseeable future. These changes have been made due to the evolving threat of the coronavirus, according to the statement.

Update as of 3:21 p.m.:

Fresno State Athletics announced in a statement on Thursday that all spring competitions will be suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

Athletics will continue to evaluate and assess the impact of the coronavirus with local health officials and continue to follow federal, state and CSU System guidelines.

Athletics said that the suspension of spring practices and team training activities will continue to be evaluated moving forward. All team activities will be canceled at least until March 18, including practices and weight training.

All NCAA events have been canceled. This includes the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) in which the Fresno State women’s basketball received a berth for, and it includes the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in which five Fresno State wrestlers received a berth — Josh Hokit, DJ Lloren, Jacob Wright, Greg Gaxiola and Lawrence Saenz.

Fresno State director of athletics Terry Tumey said in the statement that the safety of Fresno State’s student-athletes is their top priority.

“The health and safety of our student-athletes, staff and campus community are the number one priority during this unprecedented time. While we understand the uncertainty that many of our student-athletes, staff and community members may be experiencing, Fresno State Athletics is committed to providing a safe environment that helps ensure the well-being of our campus community,” Tumey said. “We will continue to work alongside our campus leadership and public health officials to determine the best course of action as we move forward.”

After the statement was released, Tumey held a conference call to address any additional questions from the media.

“..After deliberation, we all felt as though the decision was made that it’s best for the community that we halt athletic competitions and those gathering points for this suspended period of time,” Tumey said. “It is a fluid situation, so I’m not sure how long these suspensions will last or occur.”

“That is an unknown for us, but we are continuing to evaluate and will continue to present information to our leadership in order to make decisions that still once again serve best this community and protect our student-athletes.”

In the call, Tumey described the last 24 to 48 hours as unprecedented. 

“I don’t think I’ve been through anything that has taken such a whirlwind approach, but the only thing that has remained consistent is our commitment towards this community and towards the student-athletes,” Tumey said. “I think that has given me some solace in the fact that we’re all working towards that, and our academic leadership has been working towards that as well. That has been a grounding point for us, however, the cancellation of contests, the cancellation of championships — I think this is unprecedented.”

With the suspension, many athletes may potentially lose a year of eligibility. As far as players regaining another year, Tumey added that there’s no answer as of yet.

“..That’s something I can’t answer as of yet. You know, there’s always possibilities, depending on each individual case. So, there’s different cases for different individuals, depending upon where they are in their competition segments and, of course, who they are in terms of how the NCAA used them. And, of course, where they are academically,” Tumey said. “I think the possibilities of implementation or the use of possible waivers are possibilities we could all discuss or think about.”

Fresno State was scheduled to have Pro Day Tuesday, March 17. In the conference call, Tumey said that it will be canceled as it falls under an event with a large gathering.

“I tend to believe at this point in time that it would be viewed as any other event or gathering that we would have here on this campus right now. Pro Day will most likely fall under that as well. We are not having athletic opportunities here for that,” Tumey said. “We have professional leagues that are canceling contests left and right, so I tend to believe a workout by NFL programs or NFL teams would fall in that same category.”

This story will continue to be updated.

Original story:

The Mountain West (MW) Board of Directors said in a statement that they made the decision to suspend all spring sports competitions indefinitely due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

For Fresno State, every spring sport has been canceled except for equestrian, lacrosse and wrestling. Equestrian and wrestling compete in the Big 12 conference, and lacrosse competes in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. 

MW associate commissioner Javan Hedlund said they feel this is the best course of action.

“The health and well-being of student-athletes, as well as the campus and general communities, is of utmost priority,” Hedlund said. “Therefore, the Board has determined the most prudent course of action is to align with the recommendations of public health care and government officials to help limit the spread of the virus.”

Teams that have qualified for an NCAA Championship event may participate at the discretion of their institution and based on the status of those events determined by the NCAA, according to the statement.

Additionally, teams that are on the road competing may complete those events and then return to campus. Teams that have not departed shall suspend travel immediately, Hedlund said.

Regarding student-athlete recruitment, the Board added that the decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis. 

Link to the press release

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