Mountain West Conference, UNCW Pull the Plug on Fall 2020 Sports

The Mountain West Conference has become the 2nd conference in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of NCAA Division I athletics that has postponed its fall 2020 athletics season because of concerns over player health & safety amid the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement comes as more information rolls out this week about the future of the fall 2020 athletics season nationwide, with dueling information about decisions being made in the Big Ten Conference.

Mountain West

The Mountain West is the 2nd conference to announce a postponement of all scheduled fall sports contests and conference championship events, following the MAC, which made a decision on Saturday. The decision won’t impact the military academies, which specifically means the US Air Force Academy for the Mountain West, because of “the unique circumstances involved with the military service academies.” We similarly saw Army and Navy exempted from decisions made by the Patriot League earlier this summer for the same reasons.

In the Mountain West, the decision impacts football, women’s volleyball, women’s soccer, and men’s and women’s cross country.

The Mountain West and MAC represent 2 of the members of the ‘Group of 5’ conferences that make up one end of FBS football. No official announcements have been made by any ‘Power 5’ conferences (Big Ten, Big 12, ACC, Pac-12, and SEC) yet, though several reports are swirling.

The Mountain West says that there are “ongoing discussions regarding the status of winter sports,” including women’s swimming & diving, which is sponsored by 10 of the 11 schools in the conference. 3 schools, Air Force, UNLV, and Wyoming, also sponsor men’s swimming & diving, but those teams compete in the WAC.

The conference does say it will look for avenues to have fall sports seasons later in the year.

Besides the two FBS conferences, two FBS schools have independently pulled the plug on the fall sports seasons: UConn, which is an independent in football, and Old Dominion, which competes in Conference USA.

ACC Athletics Directors Moving Forward With Attempt to Play

Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde reported on Monday evening that the athletics directors of schools in the ACC met on Monday and are “moving forward in an attempt to play,” according to one staffer.

The conference announced last week that fall sports competition would begin the week of September 7-12. The final decision lies with the university presidents, but this means that we won’t see an immediate, at least, domino effect from the reported decision by the Big Ten.

Other signs include that Group of 5 conference The Sun Belt will follow the SEC’s lead and hold athletics this fall. Here’s an analysis of where the Power 5’s stood as of Monday afternoon:

UNCW Out of Fall Sports

UNCW is the latest school to independently announce that it will not participate in fall athletics. The school does not have a football team, but the decision will impact men’s soccer, women’s soccer, volleyball, men’s cross coutnry, and women’s cross country. The school says that they are “preparing for an expected spring season.”

The school has been in swimming headlines lately when they made the splashy hire of NC State’s top assistant Bobby Guntoro to lead their swimming & diving program.

They compete in the Colonial Conference.

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11 months ago

ACC with ND FB this season … $$$$$$$$

Ol' Longhorn
11 months ago

“Splashy hire.” Must need to work on technique.

11 months ago

With the cancellations of seasons, are the coaches still collecting paychecks? What about at the high school level?

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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