DENVER (CBS4)– The Mountain West Conference has announced they have postponed all fall sports contests and the championship events. The conference houses Air Force and Colorado State University.

The fall sports affected by the decision include football, men’s and women’s cross country, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball.

“This is certainly a disappointing development for our student-athletes, coaches, and staff who have devoted their full attention to get ready for a fall season, Colorado State University Director of Athletics Joe Parker said. “However, as the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has altered our landscape, we have always stressed that the health and safety of our student-athletes and community at large is the most important factor driving our decision-making processes.

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With the postponement of fall sports, we will devote our full attention to ensuring our student-athletes can have the most meaningful experience which they rightly deserve.”

The news comes on the heels of Colorado State announcing 25 student-athletes have tested positive for COVID-19 since the voluntary summer workouts began. Out of the 25 confirmed cases 19 were from the football team, with eight new cases coming from the most recent test on Aug. 3.

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The Mountain West Board of Directors said in a statement the reason for the postponement was in response to the “ongoing challenges with the effective mitigation and management of the COVID-19 virus in conjunction with athletic competition.” The conference will look into the possibilities or rescheduling the games, including moving the games to the spring.

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“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 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 intercollegiate athletics at the earliest opportunity.”

Last week, the league announced that men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, softball and baseball were canceled for the season.

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Slowly different conferences have postponed fall sports. On Friday, the Big Sky Conference postponed all fall competition, effecting the University of Northern Colorado Bears. On Saturday, the Mid-Atlantic Conference (MAC) suspended fall sports.

In Division II, the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) postponed fall sports last Thursday.

Justin Adams

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