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Utah Players, Coaches React To Pac-12’s Decision To Postpone Fall Sports

The Utah Utes take the field against the Idaho State Bengals in NCAA football in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah fall sports student-athletes and coaches are dealing with heartbreak after the Pac-12 announced that fall sports competition has been postponed until January 1.

It’s still unknown if a season will be played in the spring or at some point in the early part of 2021.

The student-athletes and coaches from the University of Utah took to social media to express their feelings after the announcement made from the conference.

Jake Bentley, Quarterback

Bentley was entering his senior season as a graduate transfer from South Carolina.

“Life – 10% what happens to you. 90% how you respond to it. Not the decision we wanted, but NO reason to be defeated. Find positive in every situation. I’ll still be working to get better everyday,” Bentley tweeted.

Devin Brumfield, Running Back

The incoming junior was in the middle of a competition for the starting running back spot but that will be put on hold.

“MOOD,” Brumfield tweeted with a GIF of an upset boy.

Jordan Wilmore, Running Back

Wilmore was expected to battle Devin Brumfield for the starting running back spot.

Samson Nacua, Wide Receiver

The incoming senior was excited to get the season started next month but will keep working despite the postponement.

“Maybe they are doing things in our best interest,” Nacua wrote on Twitter. “I’m not sure. I am heart broken to be suspending the season. In the time being I’ll be at work still.”

Nick Ford, Offensive Lineman

Ford was entering his junior season with the Utes.

“Tough love,” Ford tweeted along with a GIF of Michael Scott from The Office.

Simi Moala, Offensive Lineman

Moala was supposed to have an opportunity to build on a solid 2019 season.

Hauati Pututau, Defensive Tackle

Pututau will have to wait a little longer to start his senior season on the football team.

“It is what it is,” Pututau said on Twitter. “All you can do is trust Gods will, because it will be done.”

Pita Tonga, Defensive Tackle

Tonga was entering his senior season on the football team before the postponement.

“Just rollin with the punches, we’ll be back,” Tonga tweeted.

Andrew Mata’afa, Linebacker

The incoming sophomore was expected to compete for a starting spot at linebacker.

“This is just more time for me to get better,” Mata’afa tweeted.

Aaron Lowe, Defensive Back

Lowe was entering his sophomore season when the season was postponed.

“Jus (sic) believe in GODS plan,” Lowe posted on Twitter.

Jordan Noyes, Kicker

Noyes was entering his first season with the Utes before the Pac-12 postponed fall competition.

“What a terrible year,” Noyes tweeted.

Zack Moss, Former Running Back

“College athletes keep ya head up,” Moss tweeted.

Volleyball

Utah volleyball head coach Beth Launiere issued a statement after the announcement.

“I’m very disappointed our season has been postponed, but during this unprecedented time, the health and safety of student-athletes, staff and fans is what is most important,” Launiere said. “We have been working extremely hard to be ready for the season, and I feel bad for our student-athletes, but it is the right thing to do. We will play again with many exciting moments ahead. It’s just going to be delayed. With the uncertainty of everything, I keep telling my team that this is one of the biggest obstacles they will ever face in their lives. Now is the time to come together as a team and keep supporting each other as we keep moving forward.”

Women’s Soccer

The head coach of Utah women’s soccer Rich Manning released a statement after the announcement.

“We support the decision of the Pac-12 CEO’s,” Manning said. “The priority is to keep our players, staff and community healthy and safe. By taking some extra time, I’m sure we will learn how to better do this. We will start training as soon as we are allowed to so we can be ready for the next step. Our players have been preparing all summer and really enjoy their time on the field playing the sport they love. I’m so proud of how our players have managed the roller coaster of information and decisions over the last few months. They have shown courage through all the uncertainty. I see their character really shining through.

“Huge shout out to the University of Utah and our athletic department for creating an environment that has allowed us to be safe and play soccer. It helps give us a sense of normalcy as we battle the pandemic. Our facilities, medical, performance, wellness and academics staffs have gone the extra mile. Special thanks to our athletic trainer Tom Iriye and our performance coach Cody Lockling, who have both put in hours and hours of time to get our team through the summer. They have put in a Herculean effort and we are so grateful to them. We look forward to defeating this COVID-19 and getting back to it!”

Track & Field

Utah cross country and track & field head coach Kyle Kepler released a statement after the announcement made by the Pac-12.

“We’re obviously very disappointed and saddened by the news,” Kepler said. “However, now more than ever, the health, well-being and safety of our student-athletes and staff must be at the forefront and that is what’s more important. We’ll without a doubt continue to prepare moving forward and be ready for the next time we will be able to race once again. We look forward to what is ahead and I know our team will come out of this much stronger.”