HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The governor of New Mexico is urging the two Mountain West Conference football teams in her state not to participate in competition this fall, throwing the University of Hawaii football schedule further into flux.
Governor Lujan Grisham sent a letter to officials at the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University on Wednesday, asking them to put off their football and soccer seasons until at least the spring ― if not indefinitely.
“I know what I am asking you to contemplate is difficult and unprecedented, but these are difficult and unprecedented times,” the governor said in her letter. “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 Rainbow Warriors are currently scheduled to play the Aggies on October 10 and the Lobos on November 7. Both of the games are supposed to take place at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.
Eddie Nunez, the athletics director at New Mexico, says the university respects the governor’s stance and will continue to monitor the situation.
“As we get further along with the NCAA and the Mountain West, and when a decision is rendered kind of where football or fall sports are going, then we have an opportunity to sit down again with her office and be able to have those conversations and see at that point where we go from there,” Nunes told KRQE-TV in Albuquerque.
New Mexico, like Hawaii currently has two-week quarantine restrictions in place for anyone arriving in or returning to the state, and state officials have already postponed the 2020 high school football and soccer seasons until the 2021 spring semester at the earliest.
The Rainbow Warriors have already seen four opponents on the 2020 slate cancel their scheduled games against Hawaii: Oregon, Arizona and UCLA, from the PAC-12 conference, and Fordham, which plays in the Patriot League.
A game against Robert Morris has been scheduled as a replacement contest and is now set to serve as the team’s season opener on September 26.