(Editor's note: MCW release)
COLORADO SPRINGS - Like many other NCAA conference across all divisions, the Mountain West Conference is trimming travel, game schedules and championships to financially recover from the fallout of this year's COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Mountain West Board of Directors and Directors of Athletics have collaborated for the past several weeks developing potential options to address the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said MW Commissioner Craig Thompson. “The focus of this effort has been to protect opportunities for student-athletes and to maintain the intercollegiate athletics offerings at each member institution which are so integral to the fabric of the respective campuses. These unprecedented times demand creative solutions and great work has been done at the institutional level and collectively as a Conference.”
Board of Directors (BOD) wrapped up its virtual spring meeting on Monday, during which it took action on several items integral to the business of the Conference and national issues in intercollegiate athletics. The BOD also met jointly with the MW Directors of Athletics for a portion of the meeting. Among the key topics addressed by the board, which is comprised of the Presidents from the 12 football-playing Conference member institutions, were the following:
“Given the unique circumstances in the locales of our campuses, it was the desire of the Board of Directors to provide member institutions maximum flexibility to engage in the return of athletics activities in accordance with state, local, NCAA and campus guidelines,” said Dr. Noelle Cockett, President at Utah State University and Chair of the MW Board of Directors. “The Mountain West Health and Safety Advisory Group will assist us in those efforts as we move from conditioning to practice and ultimately competition.”
The package includes league-wide agreement on scheduling and championships elements, along with institutional discretion regarding other facets of the competitive environment depending upon unique circumstances within each athletic department and each sport program.
- Approved several cost-containment measures brought forward by the MW Directors of Athletics addressing the financial challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures identified options that can realize savings in both the Mountain West operating budget and within individual institutional athletics department budgets. All measures are designed exclusively for the 2020-21 academic year. Evaluation will be ongoing to determine if revisions are necessary in real time and/or moving forward.
Members of the MW Health & Safety Advisory Group:
Members of the Mountain West Board of Directors Executive Committee were also named for 2020-22.
San José State University President Dr. Mary Papazian will chair the BOD during the next two academic years. She will be joined by outgoing chair Dr. Noelle Cockett, President at Utah State University and vice chair, Dr. Garnett Stokes, President at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Joseph Castro is the MW representative to the College Football Playoff Board of Managers; Papazian remains the MW’s representative to the NCAA Board of Directors and Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria continues his role as the MW representative to the NCAA Presidential Forum.