Governor asks New Mexico, New Mexico State to suspend fall sports

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Even as the latest COVID-19 developments put the upcoming college football season in jeopardy, the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State’s teams have been preparing to play sports this fall.

In a letter sent to both schools, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is requesting both programs to suspend fall sports, including football

Gov. Grisham asks New Mexico, New Mexico State to suspend fall sports

Grisham’s letter, letter obtained by the Albuquerque Journal, asked school officials at New Mexico and New Mexico State to consider the COVID-19 pandemic by pushing back their fall sports schedule.

New Mexico, like many other states, has seen alarming spikes in new cases of the coronavirus. As a result, Grisham’s letter emphasized to UNM and NMSU that it is, “critical that you postpone collegiate athletics in this moment of escalating danger.”

“I know what I am asking you to contemplate is difficult and unprecedented, but these are difficult and unprecedented times,” Grisham said, via the Albuquerque Journal “Fighting COVID-19 is a team sport. I am asking each of you to join me and take it upon yourselves to do everything you can to fight COVID-19.

The New Mexico Lobos, a member of the Mountain West Conference, went 2-10 this past season. Coming off a disappointing season, the program hired Danny Gonzalez to become its head coach. Gonzalez grew up in the state, played for the Lobos (1994-’98) and began his coaching career with the program.

New Mexico State is an FBS independent school and its 2020 football schedule has already been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Aggies lost an opponent when the SWAC postponed its season and after the Pac-12 moved to a conference-only schedule.

It remains to be seen if either school will follow the governor’s request. However, given how financially devastating a lost season would be for some schools, New Mexico and New Mexico State will likely try their best to avoid the nightmare decision.