New Mexico Unable To Practice Despite College Basketball Having A Return Date
Lobos unable to hit the hardwood just yet.
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New Mexico wants to hit the court.
College basketball is officially back and will tip off its games on Nov. 25 and can hold up to 30 practices in the 42-day window between the start of practice on Oct. 14.
However, for the New Mexico Lobos basketball team, they are unable to practice at the moment due to restrictions put in place by governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.
She recently said that she is “cautiously optimistic” and wants sports to be back in the state of New Mexico, but she is not quite there yet to allow participation.
“We’re seeing lots of explosions of cases, and we’re seeing college outbreaks that are still hugely problematic,” Lujan Grisham said via the Albuquerque Journal. “So, as that as a backdrop, I think that the NCAA is responding to positive professional sports outcomes where … we’re testing, we’re aggressive about COVID-safe practices and (there are) these sort of safe, I’m calling them pods where the athletes and their families agree to isolate themselves and to be very, very, very COVID safe and strict adherence to those policies, makes a difference.
“It’s harder to do in college, but I think that the discussions today are giving rise to states like ours that are in a good place based on COVID data should be cautiously optimistic that as other states and colleges are coming to those conclusions, that we might be in that position as well.”
For the basketball side, there is time before the first day teams can practice with that being approximately three weeks away. The Lobos first game of the season will still be part of its tournament in Las Vegas that begins on Nov. 26.
Sources: The 2020 Las Vegas Invitational currently remains on as scheduled. Event is slated for November 26th and 27th. Field includes DePaul, New Mexico, Santa Clara, and Grand Canyon.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) September 17, 2020
However, for New Mexico to practice it is a bit difficult as the current state mandate allows for groups of 10 at a time and that includes coaches. So, there is no current way for the Lobos to do five on five with a coach on hand. That puts them at a distinct disadvantage to its opponents that are able to practice a bit more normal.
“We are all sports fans,” Lujan Grisham said. “… And I’m a Lobo alum. And so I really enjoy all of our college sports and the positive competition among our universities and colleges.”
Practices can happen but not at the proper level for the New Mexico basketball team to prep for its upcoming season. Things could change but in the meantime, the Lobos staff need to be a bit more creative in how they prepare for its season opener in about nine weeks.