HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Big West Conference announced Wednesday the decision to postpone fall sports until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, impacting multiple University of Hawaii sports, including women’s volleyball and soccer.
While not surprising, the move is still greatly disappointing to the UH-Manoa athletics community.
“I think it’s a holistic decision,” UH Manoa athletics director said Wednesday via Zoom conference. “I think the biggest thing is, I think travel is a big issue and when you look at the Big West, you have 10 schools in California and obviously, California is having issues with COVID right now. So I think that has as much to do with the decision as anything.”
In addition to volleyball and soccer, this decision also puts on hold women’s cross country, and men’s and women’s golf and tennis.
“Obviously, they are all bummed,” said Rainbow Wahine volleyball head coach Robyn Ah Mow. “The seniors are heartbroken. You know they’re thinking they might not have one, you know, postpone does that really mean cancel? So I told them, you know, just keep praying, maybe something good might happen or something might happen later, but they are kind of all bummed right now. but they are relieved there’s actually an answer.”
Rainbow Wahine soccer head coach Michele Nagamine says her team is disappointed with the decision, but is taking an optimistic approach to the time off.
“I talked with my team this morning and we are already looking forward to trying to be a part of finding solutions with our athletic staff to safely prepare our athletes for competition in the future,” Nagamine said.
The Big West’s announcement does present questions regarding the fate of the UH football season.
Four of the program’s games have already been canceled and with power leagues such as the Pac-12 and Big-10 committing to conference-only play, it may be only a matter of time before the Mountain West follows suit or calls off its season entirely.
“I would say over the next few weeks, we expect an answer to what’s going to happen as far as football,” Matlin said. “Right now, as far as training camp, we are planning on still going, but we’re not going to go on Friday. We’ll probably look at starting early next week.”
Matlin says there is a significant financial impact to the Big West decision, but did not elaborate on how much revenue is affected.
There is a chance the postponed seasons can pick up in the spring, if the conference decides to resume play