Because of coronavirus public health concerns, Eastern New Mexico has postponed all fall sports play and practice until spring, while Western New Mexico postponed its football and volleyball seasons until spring semester, the two NCAA Division II universities said Tuesday.
WNMU cross country remains on schedule for now, though those discussions are ongoing. The Lone Star Conference, the home for both ENMU and WNMU sports, has delayed the start of all fall sports until Sept. 21 and mandated conference play only, but as a whole has not postponed contact sports to spring.
The actions fall in line with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s request last week for leadership at all of the state’s universities to suspend all contact sports for the fall, football and soccer in particular.
“We believe this plan is the safest and most responsible answer to the pandemic,” ENMU Interim President Patrice Caldwell wrote.
Wrote WNMU athletic director Scott Noble: ” “It is certainly one of the toughest decisions we have had to make, and I truly believe it is the right one.”
The state’s other NCAA Division II school, New Mexico Highlands, said Monday that it is in a wait-and-see position regarding fall sports. It is a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, whose Council of Presidents decided Monday to push fall practice for all sports back until Aug. 24 and games until Sept. 18 at the earliest.