San Diego State football in 2019. Coach Brady Hoke hopes play can take place this fall, despite the pandemic. Photo credit: @sdsufootball, via Twitter.

San Diego State University football coach Brady Hoke gave fans an encouraging sign that Mountain West football will take place this fall despite the pandemic.

“I am excited about the possibility of playing this fall and competing for our 22nd conference title as well as the New Year’s six bowl games,” he wrote in a statement posted on Twitter. “As we navigate though these options, we will continue to base decisions on the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes.”

MW Commission Craig Thompson said in a statement this week that work was taking place to allow football and other sports to return “at the earliest possible opportunity.”

“This includes finalizing a plan for frequent, rapid response testing and continuing to monitor the status of public health directives in our MW states and communities,” he concluded.

At his news conference this week, Hoke also said, “I know our players want to play throughout the league and we want to do what’s best for them.”

SDSU officials announced in August that fall sports would be delayed at least through Sept. 26 due to COVID-19. They amended that days later, to align with MW decisions.

The campus community though has experienced a surge of positive coronavirus cases in the past month.

In response, San Diego State officials called for expanding student testing. They also halted workouts for sports teams.

Football has continued in other college conferences, though, despite the pandemic, and infections have followed. According to the Associated Press, COVID-19 positives or exposure have forced multiple postponements. They include contests in the ACC and Big 12.

The Big Ten plans to resume play next month. The conference announced in August that they would postpone games until next year, the AP also reported.

USC players also have urged California Gov. Gavin Newsom to allow their conference, the Pac-12, to play this fall. Newsom later denied that state guidelines bar them from doing so, according to the Los Angeles Times.

– Staff reports

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