The California State University 23-school system will mainly remain in the virtual learning model this fall as the state continues to deal with coronavirus pandemicCSU Chancellor Timothy White said Tuesday. That raises questions about the ability of member schools to field athletic teams for the remainder of 2020.
At this point, there isn’t much clarity about what impact the announcement will have on the football program at State of San Diego, Fresno State and State of San Jose, all members of the West Mountain Conference.
A joint statement from Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson, Fresno State President Joseph Castro, San Diego State President Adela de la Torre and San Jose State President Mary Papazian said, “Of course, all conversations are led by academics, as well as health and safety community “In that framework, more determination is needed. The three institutions will collaborate with Mountain West. No athletic decisions have been made. “
The separate University of California system, which includes Cal and UCLA, is not yet fully committed to the same steps as the CSU system. But a spokeswoman for the UC system told CBS-Los Angeles that “there is probably no campus that will be fully reopened in the fall.”
In a statement, White said the plan allows “limited exceptions for direct teaching, learning and research activities that cannot be delivered virtually, are indispensable to the university’s core mission and can be carried out within stringent safety and welfare standards.”
Mountain West had discussed a scenario in which several states were not allowed to return to competition, but the conference did not have a firm plan on how to proceed if that ended up being the case, a source told ESPN.
“SDSU will offer hybrid models for the class [some in-person, some virtual]”A San Diego State athletics spokesman said in an email.” In athletics, we continue to work through many scenarios, including sports in the fall. “
AD Fresno State Terry Tumey said the department “continues to evaluate all opportunities related to the resumption of athletics before the 2020 fall season.”
“The task force is expected to make announcements about instructions for the fall of 2020 as we move forward,” Tumey said. “Until then, we have continued to operate the athletics department and prepare for the upcoming competition season in a way that is consistent with our university’s mission to educate and empower students for success with courage.”
During a virtual board of trustees meeting Tuesday, White said finding a solution for how to play sports in the fall was complex.
“The NCAA in general was in the initial conversation about how we safely brought student athletes back to their sport,” White said. “And just a few days ago Mark Emmert, who is the president of the NCAA, made this case, which I agree, that it would not be possible to bring student-athlete and coaching staff back to campus before we actually brought the faculty back and students and companies academic. “
Emmert’s comments came during an interview on the NCAA Twitter account on Friday.
“All the commissioners and every president I spoke to had clear agreement: If you don’t have students on campus, you don’t have student athletes on campus,” he said. “That is meaningless [the school] must be up and running in full normal model, but you must treat the health and well-being of the athletes at least as much as ordinary students. … If the school does not reopen, they will not play sports. Very simple. “
Last week, presidents of the 13-school California Collegiate Athletic Association, which consisted of NCAA Division II programs in the state, agreed to cancel all fall sports. They made that decision on Tuesday.
“CCAA member institutions will continue to advocate strongly to maintain NCAA championship opportunities for all our athlete-students, including our fall sports, during the 2020-21 academic year and recommend a resume of competition when it is safe and appropriate for all members,” the commissioner CCAA Mitch Cox and Chico State president Gayle Hutchinson said in a joint statement.
White called the CCAA’s decision, “A sad outcome, but the right thing to do for planning at this point.”