To play or not to play? PacWest nears decision on fall sports

  • PacWest commissioner Bob Hogue says the conference likely will decide its fall playing status on Thursday.

The PacWest, one of three conferences in the West Region, is now the last one standing.

The Great Northwest Athletic Conference suspended all fall competition for 2020 on Friday.


“This was not a decision taken lightly but one the Board believes is in the best interests of student-athletes and staff,” GNAC commissioner Dave Haglund said in a statement. “There is no greater priority than the health and well-being of our student-athletes and this action is reflective of the GNAC’s commitment to this prevailing principle. We understand that many student-athletes will be disappointed and saddened by this news, particularly our seniors, and we have profound empathy for everyone affected by this decision, including nonconference opponents. We can only ask for their thoughtful understanding during these challenging and unprecedented times.”

The California Collegiate Athletic Association was far ahead of its counterparts when it shut down fall sports in May.

The main fall sports, for the Division II conferences, are women’s volleyball and football. (Only the GNAC sponsors football.)

PacWest commissioner Bob Hogue said the school presidents and chancellors will meet on Thursday and a final decision is most likely to be made at that time.

“I’m every watchful of things going on in the news. I stay abreast of everything going on in Hawaii,” he said. “One size doesn’t fit all. We want to be thorough through the whole process.”

The university top brass only need to Google “pro sports and COVID-19” to figure out how tough a time the NBA, MLB, and the NFL are having.

UHH athletic director Pat Guillen is on the conference’s ad hoc committee, made up of ADs, trainers, and other administration staff.

The purpose of the ad hoc committee is to discus important topics, including climbing infection numbers, safety protocols, and expenses.

“The presidents will meet on Thursday,” he said “Ultimately, they’ll make a decision, I imagine.

“Division II schools don’t have a Division I budget. The testing is a costly expense. But our No. 1 concern is the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff. That’s got to be our lead, so we’ll see.”

In the event the PacWest follows suit and suspends fall sports, it’ll likely end the career of UHH senior Bria Beale, the volleyball team’s All-PacWest standout.

Businesses around the country have been shut down for good because of the pandemic, and collegiate sports are no exception.

Notre Dame de Namur announced in March that athletics will be discontinued.

Are UHH sports in any type of danger?


“We’re OK,” Guillen said. “But I don’t know what our budget will be. The state and economy will take a hit this year and a bigger hit the following year. It’ll take several years for the state and UH system to recover.

“But we have great people in the community. I have no doubt in my mind we’ll get through it together.”

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