Jason Groves, Las Cruces Sun-News
Published 1:08 p.m. ET Aug. 13, 2020 | Updated 1:08 p.m. ET Aug. 13, 2020
USA Today Sports’ Dan Wolken and Paul Myerberg explain the financial debt college football will incur from a fall without football.
LAS CRUCES, N.M – There will be no fall sports at New Mexico State.
New Mexico State athletic director Mario Moccia confirmed Thursday that the school was postponing fall football.
The Aggies were down to four scheduled football games due to COVID-19 concerns and 53 programs across the country, including the Big Ten and Pac-12 had made similar decisions to not play in recent weeks.
Moccia said the school would consider playing football in the spring.
The Aggies were currently on a pause after a asymptomatic student-athlete tested positive for the virus on the first day of fall camp.
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham had also imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine for out of state travelers, making hosting football games a tricky proposition until restrictions are relaxed or removed.
“This decision was not made lightly,” said New Mexico State president John Floros in a statement. “It was particularly hard for many of us who like college sports, and want to see our Aggies play. But by putting the safety, health and well-being of our student-athletes, our coaches and our staff fist, it became an easy decision to make.”
SPRING FEASIBILITY: College football next year becomes focus, but could it work?
Other fall sports at New Mexico will also be canceled after the Western Athletic Conference announced Thursday that all fall championship and non-championship athletics competitions through the end of the year will be suspended.
“It obviously was a difficult decision, and not one made lightly,” said WAC Commissioner Jeff Hurd. “But it was one made after extensive discussion and consideration of all relevant factors as well as input from conference administrators and the Medical Advisory Committee. The health and safety of our student-athletes, the many others associated with our athletics programs and all those in our campus environments always will be the highest priority.”
Teams will be able to continue conditioning, strength training and other practice opportunities in all sports per institutional discretion.
The fall sports conference championship sports affected are men’s and women’s cross country, volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer.
Fall sports athletes should be protected regarding eligibility following a recommendation by the NCAA Council similar to what was adopted for spring athletes. Athletes will be granted an extension of their five-years of eligibility and an additional year of competition if they participate in 50 percent or less of the maximum number of competitions allowed in each sport
While Thursday’s announcement makes the WAC’s decision official, recent Division I cancellations across the country made fall championships unlikely as the NCAA had previously mandated that fall sports championships would not be held unless at least 50 percent of its members were able to participate.
Spring sports would also not be able to hold non-traditional offseason competitions in the fall, according to the WAC release.