MWC's California Schools Face New Issues With Campuses Not Reopening
The Mountain West Conference and presidents from its three members in the California State Univ. system (CSU) -- Fresno State, San Diego State and San Jose State -- released a statement through the league indicating that "no decisions on a football season or any other fall sports have been made at this point," according to Robert Kuwada of the FRESNO BEE. Yesterday's statement came just hours after CSU Chancellor Timothy White said that its campuses "would not reopen in the fall." Fresno State in a separate statement following the CSU announcement said that it was "closing campuses to in-person classes in the fall" but added that its Fall '20 Planning Task Force was "evaluating operational needs on campus, including athletics." Kuwada notes without students on campus, it "would be difficult to proceed with football and other fall sports including women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s cross country" (FRESNO BEE, 5/13). ESPN.com's Kyle Bonagura reported the separate Univ. of California system (UC), which includes Cal and UCLA, "has not fully committed to the same step as the CSU system." But a spokesperson for the UC system told L.A.-based KCBS-TV it is "likely none of our campuses will fully reopen in the fall" (ESPN.com, 5/12).
FALL IN PHASES: In San Diego, Kirk Kenney notes San Diego State "remains committed to fielding fall sports" despite the announcement that most fall classes will be conducted online in the 23-school CSU. SDSU AD John David Wicker said, "I don’t know that it necessarily impacts us at all. We knew that we were going to be in some form of virtual classes this fall, anyway. They’re definitely still going to have classes on campus." Wicker indicated that he has been "developing a plan to begin bringing student-athletes back to campus starting on July 7, which coincides with the start of the school’s second summer session." Kenney notes not all student-athletes "would return at once," as they "would be phased in, beginning with football players as a 'test case,' because they normally are the first athletes to return to campus." Wicker added that NCAA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Hainline "provided some optimism in comments made Monday during a Mountain West AD’s meeting." Wicker: "He was encouraged by some of the things that are happening with the ability to develop accurate testing" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 5/13).