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The New Mexico State University Aggie fight song includes the line “We’ll win this game or know the reason why.”
No Aggie athletes will win any games this fall, and we know the reason why: They won’t play any games.
NMSU Athletics handed down the news Thursday morning. Aggie football, which competes independently, and the other Aggie fall sports, which compete in the Western Athletic Conference, will all go dark this fall, thanks to COVID-19.
The football decision was reached in conjunction with NMSU President John Floros, Chancellor Dan Arvizu and Head Football Coach Doug Martin.
Closing the other sports fell under the decision of the WAC’s board of directors and its commissioner, Jeff Hurd.
"Our top priority has been, and always will be, to safeguard the health and livelihood of our student-athletes, coaches and staff,” said Mario Moccia, NMSU’s athletic director. “Though difficult, this decision was made with those factors foremost on our minds."
"This decision was not made lightly," said NMSU President John Floros. "It was particularly hard for many of us who like college sports, and want to see our Aggies play. But by putting the safety, health and well-being of our student-athletes, our coaches and our staff first, it became an easy decision to make."
With the Big 10, Pac-12, Mid-American and Mountain West Conferences, UConn, UMass and Old Dominion a total of 53 FBS programs have made a similar decisions in recent days.
NMSU officials said creating a full schedule for student-athletes and fans would have been exceptionally difficult to accomplish, and the state of New Mexico's 14-day quarantine order made playing a football schedule with road games impossible.
NMSU is still open to considering a spring football season.
For NMSU, the WAC decision means there will be no 2020 fall seasons for its men's and women's cross country, women's soccer or volleyball teams.
"It obviously was a difficult decision, and not one made lightly," Hurd said. "But it was one made after extensive discussion and consideration of all relevant factors as well as input from conference administrators and the Medical Advisory Committee. The health and safety of our student-athletes, the many others associated with our athletics programs and all those in our campus environments always will be the highest priority."