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UNM football holds off on starting preseason camp

New Mexico football coach Danny Gonzales shown at a radio promotion in February, said Tuesday UNM cannot begin preseason practice as planned on Friday. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

University of New Mexico’s football team will not start preseason camp on Friday as it had planned, coach Danny Gonzales said Tuesday after meeting with athletic director Eddie Nuñez,

“We made progress with what we’re doing and we’re going to continue with the 20-hour week,” said Gonzales, who is in his first year as the Lobos coach. “That’s what I think is what’s best for our program right now.”

Gonzales would not answer questions about New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s recent letter to the leadership of UNM, New Mexico State and the state’s other universities, asking that they not proceed with their fall contact sports due to COVID-19 concerns.

Gonzales said he hopes that the Lobos can start preseason camp sometime next week. UNM is scheduled to open the season in a little more than four weeks, Aug. 29 against Idaho State at Dreamstyle Stadium.

Gonzales said he would also like to gain more clarity from a national perspective. The NCAA board of governors did not make any decisions regarding football on Friday and announced that they will next meet on Aug. 4.

Nuñez concurred with Gonzales that another week of the current training before starting preseason camp is what’s best for the Lobos. Nuñez said there are plans for another round of COVID-19 testing before the Lobos begin preseason camp.

UNM announced last week that of 106 tests total of athletes (85) and coaches/staff (21) between July 5-19, there were four new positive tests for COVID-19 – three athletes and one staff member.

UNM has been testing since late June, started summer workouts in early July and has tested 225 people with six positives, including Jordan Kress, the Lobos’ top returning wide receiver.

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