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COVID Concerns Postpone Two Conference USA Games

Brock Fritz

A pair of Conference USA football games — North Texas at UTEP and Marshall at FIU — have been postponed by rising numbers of COVID-19 cases.

The University of Texas at El Paso announced Tuesday that its home game against North Texas was postponed from Saturday after the Mean Green didn’t feel comfortable coming to El Paso.

"We are disappointed that North Texas has chosen not to come to El Paso for the football game this weekend," UTEP president Heather Wilson said in the press release, which noted the schools are working to reschedule the game. "We have a safe place to play and no players who are sick or in isolation, and North Texas has not indicated that any of their players are ill. We made the decision earlier today not to allow fans in the stadium.

"We are proud of the diligence that our student-athletes, coaches and staff have shown to put us in a position to play every week. We look forward to further discussions with Conference USA and North Texas on whether or when this game will be rescheduled."

North Texas’ announcement said that “the decision to postpone the game follows the issuance of a stay-at-home order as new, daily positive test rates have reached critical levels in El Paso.

"We are disappointed to have our first postponement of a Conference USA game, but the health and safety of our student-athletes, staff and coaches is our number one priority," North Texas president Neal Smatresk said. "We send our best wishes to the entire El Paso community as they face the challenge of dealing with the latest outbreak."

According to The Prospector, UTEP has had back-to-back home games canceled by opposing team’s concerns.

Florida International announced Tuesday that its home game against 19th-ranked Marshall is being postponed from Friday due to “FIU football’s lack of available scholarship student-athletes.”

“The action follows Conference USA COVID-19 guidelines, which require a threshold for the game to be played safely,” FIU’s announcement reads. “The shortage is due to quarantining of COVID-19 positive tests and contact tracing, as well as injuries.”

The teams earned more time to reschedule games, as Conference USA recently pushed its championship game back two weeks to Dec. 18.

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