LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — It was supposed to be a new start for UNLV football this year with a new home and head coach. Instead, the pandemic has changed just about everything, including taking away the usual revelry.
The pandemic has led to the Mountain West Conference to suspend football.
However, with conferences like the SEC and Big 12 playing football, it’s led to some players and coaches saying they want to play.
Syndicated sports radio host TC Martin says he understands the sentiments.
“There’s a limited time for these athletes to capitalize on their college careers and many of them have professional football aspirations as well,” he said.
Rebels head coach Marcus Arroyo tweeting the hashtag, “We want to play” in response to reports the Mountain West was exploring having a fall season.
I’m FIRED UP about our most recent @MountainWest conversations 👀🤐 #WeWantToPlay @unlvfootball Players have worked so hard to safely compete. Lets “stamp” the plan and ROLL‼️ 🔖💯🎰#BEaREBEL #WEnotME @UNLVathletics @GovSisolak https://t.co/j75lG0xe2S— Coach Arroyo (@coacharroyo) September 16, 2020
Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson released a statement saying in part:
“Multiple subgroups within the Conference are working daily on solutions to the existing challenges in order to facilitate a return to play for Mountain West football, and other Conference sports programs, at the earliest possible opportunity.”
“I expect the Mountain West to probably come to their senses and expect them to play in the fall,” Martin said.
He believes it could happen if the conference is able to successfully develop plans for rapid testing. He says having a football season will have an impact on the rest of UNLV’s athletics program.
“They need those home games, and they need that television money. They need that conference money for the other sports to survive,” Martin said.