LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – There will be no football at Utah State this fall.
The Mountain West Conference announced the indefinite postponement of all scheduled fall sports, including football, due to the dangers associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Mountain West is the second FBS conference to postpone football and other fall sports, joining the Mid-American Conference.
“While we are disappointed about the postponement of our fall sports and the opportunities for our student-athletes to compete, the safety and well-being of those student-athletes has been, is and always will be our No. 1 priority,” Utah State athletic director John Hartwell said in a statement. “This has been a stressful time for our student-athletes with all the uncertainties regarding their competitive seasons, and even though sports will not be played this fall, we will continue to provide the resources necessary for their mental health and well-being, and academic successes.”
The Mountain West will begin to explore the feasibility of rescheduling fall sports competition, including the possibility of those sports competing in the spring.
“Since the start of the pandemic, our membership and staff have been working diligently to prepare fora fall sports season,” said Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson. “We were hopeful we couldcarefully and responsibly conduct competition as originally scheduled with essential protocols in place. However, numerous external factors and unknowns outside our control made this difficult decision necessary. I fully understand the impact of this outcome on our student- athletes, coaches, administrators and staff who work so hard daily to play the sports we all love, and I share in their disappointment. We will continue to navigate this pandemic together, overcome the obstacles and return to intercollegiateathletics at the earliest opportunity.”
Last week, the Mountain West announced a football schedule model that included eight conference games and up to two nonleague games at each member’s discretion. The schedule was set to begin no earlier than the weekend of Sept. 26.
Tomorrow, the Big Ten and Pac-12 Conferences could announce they will be postponing fall sports as well.
The Big Sky Conference, which includes Weber State and Southern Utah, announced last Friday that they have postponed fall sports until the spring.
BYU, which scheduled Navy for its season opener September 7th, lost three more games in its 2020 schedule to Utah State (10/2), Boise State (11/6) and San Diego State (11/14).
The Cougars now have just three games currently remaining on its schedule in Navy (9/7), Houston (10/16) and North Alabama (11/21).
After practice on Monday before the Mountain West made its announcement, BYU head coach Kalani Sitake expressed concern that the college football season would be cancelled entirely.
“There’s a lot of discussion going around but we just go to work,” Sitake said. “I think we’re going to keep going until they tell us to stop and our mindset it to get ready everyday. Whatever happens, whatever decision, that’s not my choice, so whatever everyone decides to do we’ll just follow it but right now we gotta go like we’re ready to play a game.”
“For right now we still got a week one schedule,” said quarterback Zach Wilson. “We’re still playing on Labor day and and that’s what we’re looking forward to, we’re still planning on that game, we’re still preparing for that game.”