The Mountain West has announced the indefinite postponement of all scheduled fall sports contests andMountain West championship events in response to ongoing challenges with the effective mitigation and management of the COVID-19 virus in conjunction with athletic competition. The MW board of directors prioritized the physical and mental health and well-being of the conference’s student-athletes and overall campus communities in its decision — as it has done throughout the course of the pandemic.
The decision, announced Aug. 10, affects the Colorado College women’s soccer program, which has been a member of the Mountain West since 2014.
“We are in support of our conference’s decision that places the well-being of our student-athletes at the forefront,” says CC Vice President and Director of Athletics Lesley Irvine. “While the decision is incredibly disappointing, we now hope to benefit from discussions and planning around possible spring opportunities for our women’s soccer team. I have been so proud of our players and coaches and their thoughtful engagement, particularly over the last few weeks.”
“In regards to the Mountain West postponement of our season, our team is feeling a sense of relief that a decision was made and reassured that the health and safety of one another, our friends and family, and our social peers is a top priority,” says midfielder Tayla Wheeler '21. “While we are disappointed in not being able to compete, we believe this decision was the most responsible to make with the current state of the virus. The fall may look different for us, but we are excited to continue to safely train and prepare for a hopeful spring season. Go Tigers!”
The Fall sports affected by the decision include men’s and women’s cross country, football, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball (with the exception of the unique circumstances involved with the military service academies). Last week, the league announced that all Fall competition in the sports of men’sand women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s indoortrack and field, softball and baseball was canceled. At this time, there are ongoing discussions regarding the status of winter sports.
The Mountain West will begin to explore the feasibility of rescheduling fall sports competition, including thepossibility of those sports competing in the Spring, and develop options for consideration. Athletically related activities and training opportunities for enrolled student-athletes also will be evaluated consistent with NCAA legislation and guidance, as well as state, local, and campus parameters.
“Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our students, student-athletes, coaches, faculty, staff, and overall communities,” says Mary Papazian, president at San José State University and chair of the MW board of directors. “Through the hard work of many over the past several months, the conference made every effort to create an opportunity for our student-athletes to compete, and we empathize with the disappointment this creates for everyone associated with our programs. The best interests of our students and student-athletes remain our focus and we will persist in our efforts to forge a viable and responsible path forward.”
“Since the start of the pandemic, our membership and staff have been working diligently to prepare for a Fall sports season,” said MW Commissioner Craig Thompson. “We were hopeful we could carefully andresponsibly conduct competition as originally scheduled with essential protocols in place. However, numerousexternal factors and unknowns outside our control made this difficult decision necessary. I fully understandthe impact of this outcome on our student- athletes, coaches, administrators, and staff who work so harddaily 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 intercollegiate athletics at the earliest opportunity.”