NEVADA (KTNV) — The Mountain West Board of Directors agreed Wednesday on an adjusted 2020 fall sports structure for multiple sports due to the current coronavirus pandemic.
Football, women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, and men’s and women’s cross country have been included in the Mountain West adjustment.
The MW’s revised fall sports plan aligns with the requirements announced by the NCAA Board of Governors, according to a Mountain West Conference spokesperson.
The plan will also continue to be evaluated and subject to directives from local, state and federal leaders. Should further modifications become necessary, including delay or cancellation of the competition, the MW board says it is prepared to do so. And the decision is designed to allow additional time to monitor ongoing developments related to the status of the COVID-19 virus.
Mountain West sponsored fall sports are scheduled to begin competition no earlier than the week ending Sept. 26. The football season will be comprised of an eight conference game schedule with an option for each member to play two non-conference opponents if teams choose to do so.
“The health and well-being of our students, student-athletes, coaches, staff and overall communities remain the first and foremost priority,” said Dr. Mary Papazian, president at San Jose State University and chair of the MW Board of Directors."
Potential dates for the 2020 Mountain West Football Championship Game include Dec. 5, Dec. 12, or Dec. 19. Various scheduling models for the 2020 MW football season are also under consideration and a final version will be announced once completed.
Fall Olympic sports competitions will consist of conference-only play. Women’s soccer and women’s volleyball champions will be determined by regular-season competition, while options for men’s and women’s cross country continue to be reviewed.
All fall competition in the sports of men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, swimming and diving, indoor track and field, softball, and baseball have been canceled, according to the MWC.
"An incredible amount of thought and discussion from multiple perspectives went into making this decision. We will continue to gather the best medical information available and lean on advice from public health professionals, as well as state and local officials, as we make decisions and necessary adjustments in the future," Papazian said.
Game management departments across the league are evaluating best practices for game operations to prepare a properly structured environment for student-athletes, coaches, staff, officials, and other individuals necessary to conduct games, according to the MWC.
“We have deliberated these issues fully as a conference since the start of the pandemic, and I want to thank the Mountain West Board of Directors, Directors of Athletics and the MW Health and Safety Advisory Committee for their collaborative efforts during this unique time,” said MW Commissioner Craig Thompson. There is still a lot of work to be done and many important decisions to be made. Today’s announcement provides a path forward as we navigate the weeks ahead.”