The Mountain West Conference has canceled its football season this fall because of player health and safety concerns regarding COVID-19, sources told Stadium.
In a vote of league presidents Monday, the Mountain West became the second Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) conference to cancel all of its fall sports, sources said.
The Mountain West will consider playing football in the spring, sources said.
Earlier Monday, Stadium first reported that Old Dominion, a member of Conference USA, had canceled football and all of its fall sports. Saturday, the Mid-American Conference canceled all fall sports, including football. Last week, UConn, an independent, became the first FBS school to announce it would not play this fall.
With the cancellation of the football season for the 12-member Mountain West, a total of 26 FBS schools have now opted not to play this fall.
On Monday, there were multiple reports that the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences would cancel their fall football seasons on Tuesday.
As far as the Mountain West, last week, league presidents overwhelmingly wanted to continue with plans to play football this fall. However, those opinions flipped, sources said, with the increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases in the Mountain West footprint as well as the Mid-American’s decision to cancel its season.
“The health and safety of our student-athletes was paramount in our decision,” a source said.
After the MAC canceled its season Saturday, a Power Five source told Stadium that the “college football season ultimately is done. I don’t think everyone necessarily follows the MAC, but it gives other presidents one more reason to make an easier decision. The biggest thing is unknown long-term impact of COVID & liability issues involved. I’m not optimistic.”
The 26 schools that have opted not to play this fall as of Monday afternoon: Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, San Diego State, San Jose State, UNLV, Utah State and Wyoming of the Mountain West; Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green State, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami (Ohio), Northern Illinois, Ohio, Toledo and Western Michigan of the MAC; ODU of Conference USA and independent UConn.
Several smaller Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) conferences also have canceled their fall football seasons. The NCAA announced last week all Division II and III fall sports championships would be canceled.