Mountain West pushes pause on fall sports due to pandemic

Sports

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — Fresno State football and other fall sports are now on hold due to pandemic concerns.

The Mountain West conference made the announcement Monday.

Fresno County health officials said they were not part of the decision, but with hospitals being taxed and the area flagged by the state, they’re in favor of anything to curb the spread.

RELATED: Mountain West fall sports, including Fresno State football, postponed for 2020

“This is a very close contact sport so I’m still not sure how they’re going to do it safe. NFL training camp has started, I forget how many are already positive. So imagine the college scene and how disruptive that’s going to be if players and coaches get sick,” David Luchini the assistant health director said.

The announcement comes just days after Mountain West rolled out an eight game conference season, with the option for two non-conference games.

University President Joseph Castro released a statement reading in part:

“I made this difficult and consequential decision after consulting with California State University Chancellor Timothy White, Director of Athletics Terry Tumey, student athletes, my cabinet members, and local public health and medical experts. Our conference decision appropriately prioritizes the health and safety of our student-athletes.”

The postponement will also impact cross country, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball.

Interim health officer Doctor Rais Vohra said the decision was likely made because the health risk is too high.

“All of these groups and teams and gathering that would be precipitated if these sports events went forward would actually lead to a lot more outbreaks that just aren’t going to be able to be handled by the local health jurisdictions. So at this time it just doesn’t make sense to move forward with it,” he said.

The conference said moving fall sports to the spring is still a possibility.

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