Ryan Shumaker, Assistant Athletic Director
PORTALES – Eastern New Mexico University will not be competing in the Lone Star Conference schedule for men’s and women’s basketball during the 2020-21 season.
Eastern New Mexico University cannot comply with the “COVID-Safe Practices for Intercollegiate Sports” document that outlines the requirements and expectations set forth by the New Mexico Department of Higher Education for institutions to compete in intercollegiate athletics. The decision to opt-out of the 2020-21 Lone Star Conference basketball schedules by ENMU is also consistent with the University’s commitment to safeguarding student-athletes’ and the greater campus community’s health and well-being.
“We truly feel for our men’s and women’s basketball programs at this time, but the number one concern for our department will always be the health and safety of our student-athletes,” Director of Athletics Matt Billings said. “The state of New Mexico has made it clear that intercollegiate athletic competitions are not able to occur in the state unless all directives listed by the COVID-Safe Practices for Intercollegiate Sports document are met, and we simply cannot meet those guidelines. Our basketball programs will continue to work and train together throughout the spring semester in the hopes of coming back even stronger in 2021-22.”
ENMU will honor all athletic scholarships for the remainder of the 2020-21 academic year. As the state of New Mexico health guidelines and orders continue to develop, ENMU will continue to weigh the possibility of competing in the spring of 2021 for fall sports that have been moved to the spring semester, as well as traditional spring sports.
“We will continue to monitor the state’s guidelines before making an official decision on whether or not our fall sports will be competing this spring,” Billings said. “Our staff will continue to prepare our student-athletes as best as the state guidelines allow in hopes of those sports being able to compete this spring.”
All athletic programs will continue to practice under the outlined guidelines set forth in the “COVID-Safe Practices for Intercollegiate Sports” document throughout the remainder of the fall semester and beginning in the spring semester. Programs will still be limited to socially-distanced pods of five during those practice sessions and will continue to submit to random testing for COVID-19.
That practice format will not be changed until the Roosevelt County 14-day average daily case count is less than eight per 100,000 and the positivity rate lessons to under five percent, as required by the “COVID-Safe Practices for Intercollegiate Sports” document.
For more information related to the current state of ENMU athletics, please see the “FAQ for ENMU Athletics COVID-safe document.”