Mountain West postpones fall sports, including football

Alex Dumais (43) celebrates a sack against Nevada at Bulldog Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. (Armando Carreno/The Collegian)

The Mountain West (MW) announced an indefinite postponement of all scheduled fall sports and MW championships in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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 – as it has done throughout the course of the pandemic,” the MW said in a press release.

With the indefinite postponement of fall sports, the following Fresno State sports affected are football, women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and men and women’s cross country.

“We are supportive of the MW Conference Board of Directors’ decision regarding fall sports. As we have stated from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Fresno State Athletics Director Terry Tumey in an official statement. “The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff, and community have been, and will continue to be, our number one priority.” 

The decision comes just five days after the MW announced a revised plan for both the 2020 football season and fall sports. The plan was for all MW sponsored fall sports to be scheduled to begin no earlier than the week ending Sept. 26. 

Along with the Mid-American Conference, the MW becomes the second Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) conference to postpone/cancel all its fall sports.

The MW will also begin to explore the possibility of rescheduling fall sports in the spring.

Fresno State President Dr. Joseph I. Castro was a part of Monday’s vote to postpone all fall sports indefinitely. In his official statement, Castro says he made this “difficult and consequential decision” after consulting with student-athletes, Tumey, local public health and medical experts and more. 

He added that “[the MW] conference decision appropriately prioritizes the health and safety of our student-athletes.”

“We will continue to work diligently to provide our young men and women the resources needed to support their academic, athletic, and personal development pursuits in alignment with Fresno State’s mission, to boldly educate and empower students for success,” Tumey said.

Fresno State football head coach Kalen Deboer said that he is incredibly proud of each member of the Fresno State Football program, including the student-athletes, coaches and support staff. He also likes to commend Fresno State’s departmental and campus leadership for their efforts to keep all the student-athletes safe during the pandemic.

“As we look ahead, I have no doubt that Fresno State Football will be back stronger than ever because of the good people that we surround ourselves with. We’ve talked since January about attacking each day with a starving mindset and being unified in all that we do, neither of those goals change with today’s announcement. We will make the Red Wave and all of Bulldog Nation proud of our resolve and how we respond,” Deboer said.

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