FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – On Thursday, presidents from the 12 Mountain West football schools voted ‘yes’ on returning to play this fall. They will try to play an eight-game conference schedule starting next month.
“I really think it goes back to the rapid antigen testing and, with Quest’s support and partnership, it really started to turn probably in the last couple of days,” explains Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson.
The Mountain West Conference will cover the cost of testing, which will be well into the millions of dollars. That money is coming from the conference’s reserve fund.
As for the Bulldogs, Fresno State hasn’t suited up in full pads since November 30th in its season finale at San Jose State.
Fresno State is one of five programs in the Mountain West that did not have spring practice and is the last program to have its student-athletes return to campus.
“This is a very exciting day for us here at Fresno State,” said Terry Tumey, Fresno State’s Director of Athletics. “We’re gonna have a very safe place for our student-athletes to compete and move forward.
“It will be a challenge, I won’t say it won’t be, and it will be something that we’re monitoring closely.”
The conference is aiming to start the season on October 24th, which is less than a month away.
“Today is the first day of fall camp, and although we’re not able to do that in a full team setting, we’re getting there,” said Fresno State head football coach Kalen DeBoer. “We’re gonna take advantage of every moment that we have together and make the most of it.”
It is worth noting that due to state restrictions, Fresno State will not allow fans at Bulldog Stadium this fall.
“We’ve weathered some storms here and I’m sure there will be more,” said DeBoer. “The toughness and grit that this team has, and this program has always had, is something that’s gonna always exemplify how we handle the situations that come our way.”
The Mountain West Conference has not yet released its eight-game football schedule for 2020.