Two Lone Star Conference schools cancel fall football

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The two out-of-state members of the Lone Star Conference have both decided to cancel fall football. Eastern New Mexico and Western New Mexico both announced plans to cancel football in the fall in hopes of playing in the spring semester. 

The Lone Star Conference previously announced plans to push the football season at least three weeks until late September, likely canceling nonconference play. However, the league has not responded to requests for comment on how losing two members will impact the restart plan. 

If the league proceeds with football in the fall, it will do so with only six teams, compared to nine last season. Tarleton State left the LSC and is in the process of transitioning from Division-II to Division-I. That leaves only Texas A&M-Commerce, Midwestern State, Angelo State, UTPB, Texas A&M-Kingsville and West Texas A&M. 

Additionally, Tarleton State features a schedule with four LSC members. If the LSC pushed football to the spring but FCS schools opted to stay in the fall, it's unclear how the Texans would proceed. 

The decision comes on the heels of New Mexico governor Michelle Lujan Grisham requesting that colleges in New Mexico wait to start college sports in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. New Mexico ranks above average in containing the virus, but interstate competition in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana – three of the states with the fastest rates of COVID-19 spread – could prove detrimental to those numbers. 

Almost half of the NCAA’s Division-II conferences have opted to push football until the spring, according to WNMU. Division-III schools – including the Texas-based American Southwest Conference – have largely already decided to push football to the spring.

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