Mountain West votes to play shortened eight-game 2020 football season

Updated: Sep. 24, 2020 at 4:26 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Are you ready for some football?

The Rainbow Warrior football team could take the field for the 2020 football season as soon as next month under the terms of an agreement that has reportedly been reached by administrators of the Mountain West Conference.

The agreement, first reported Thursday afternoon by college football insider Brett McMurphy, was voted on by the member presidents and appears to involve a streamlined eight-game season starting on October 24th — allowing enough time for a Mountain West team to be potentially be eligible for a high-profile bowl game.

The decision provides athletes and staff members more than a month to return to campus and prepare for a football season. The plan also involves frequent coronavirus testing for all member schools — one of the main factors in the conference’s initial postponement.

This vote does not guarantee that the 'Bows will field a team this season, but it is the first of many steps that need to be taken in order to play this fall.

UH Athletic Director David Matlin issued a response to the Mountain West’s decision, saying that he will continue to cooperate with local government officials to find a path back to the field.

Current coronavirus restrictions in Honolulu prevent gatherings for outdoor team sports events, but Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Tuesday that the decision about whether or not to grant the Hawaii football team an exception would come from Gov. David Ige.

Allowing fans to attend games at Aloha Stadium is also a decision that would have to come from Gov. Ige, according to the mayor.

The Rainbow Warriors have continued to work out since receiving word early last month that their season had been postponed, sources say.

Pre-season training camps typically last about a month ― in line with the amount of time the conference has afforded teams to practice before officially kicking off the shortened season.

A spokesperson for Aloha Stadium says they, too, would need about a month to make sure the facility is ready to host football games again. Stadium authorities laid a protective cover onto the artificial turf at the stadium earlier this year to prevent unnecessary wear-and-tear or sun damage while the stadium sat unused.

The official eight game schedule for the 'Bows has not yet been released.

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