WAC cancels all competition for the remainder of the 2019-2020 athletic year


Mitchell Allred

After Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham made it clear there would be no exceptions or amendment to New Mexican public health orders, it looks that the only way Aggie basketball can go on this year is a move to a different state happens.

After what’s been hell on earth in the world of sports over the past week, the Western Athletic Conference officially declared that all sports for the remainder of the athletic year have been cancelled in response to the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak.

“The Western Athletic Conference Board of Directors voted on Tuesday to cancel all remaining WAC competition and championships through the end of the academic year, including spring sports that compete beyond the athletic year,” the conference announced in a statement Wednesday morning. “This follows the earlier decision to suspend all WAC competition until further notice and the decision by the NCAA to cancel all remaining winter and spring NCAA Championships.”

The cancellation comes as very little surprise, with the rest of the sports world putting a halt to any and all activities in an attempt to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, which was officially declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11.

Many sports leagues and organizations had initially announced the closure of events to the public, with the intention to hold and televise events like the NBA, NHL and postseason college basketball play, but the first domino to a sports-less world fell Wednesday night when the NBA announced its season would be suspended following a positive diagnosis of one of its players.

Just about every conference in college basketball followed, with the WAC officially cancelling the remainder of its basketball tournaments Thursday morning, just three hours before the New Mexico State men’s team was slated to play their opening round matchup in a pursuit at a third straight WAC Championship and NCAA Tournament bid.

The Aggies were still slated to appear in the closed-off NCAA Tournament, but that was later cancelled entirely Thursday, along with all other NCAA Championships, prompting the suspension of all conference-wide competition.

A complete cancellation was inevitable following the WHO pandemic announcement and President Donald Trump’s National Emergency declaration late last week, so the WAC’s official statement is only the final nail in the coffin for the 2019-2020 NM State athletic year (and taking away would looked to be landmark years for the Aggie softball and baseball programs amongst a slew of other affected spring sports).

As it looks right now, there will be some time before fans in Las Cruces and across the world will be able to enjoy and celebrate their favorite pastimes again, but with the NCAA pursuing to extend eligibility for athletes of spring sports who will be unable to participate in their season as a result of the virus, at least some relief should be offered, offering a little beam of light during these dark days.

Facebook Comments