University of Hawaii football appears to be back.
A Thursday afternoon meeting between the presidents of the Mountain West Conference, of which Hawaii is a football-only member, ended with a consensus decision in favor of an eight-game conference-only season starting on Oct. 24.
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Matchups and schedules for each team are expected to be announced in the coming days.
A football season that starts on Oct. 24 appears to be feasible for the University of Hawaii as it pertains to both hosting and traveling to games because of Hawaii Governor David Ige’s COVID-19 pre-travel testing protocols, which begin on Oct. 15. Under those guidelines, a traveler from the mainland who can provide a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arriving in the islands will be exempt from a 14-day quarantine.
The Mountain West previously announced on Aug. 10 that it would postpone its fall sports schedule due to COVID-19 concerns before each deciding to bring football back in 2020. Mountain West football players and coaches are expected to be tested for COVID-19 multiple times a week.
The Mountain West joins the Big Ten Conference in reversing course on deciding to cancel its fall football season. Also on Thursday, the Pac-12 Conference announced that it would hold a seven-game season starting on Nov. 6. Multiple reports state that the Mid-American Conference is expected to vote on a six-game conference football season in the fall as well. If approved, all 10 NCAA FBS football conferences will ultimately play football in the fall.
Oct. 24 will mark 10 months to the day since UH’s last game, a 38-34 victory over rival BYU in the 2019 Hawaii Bowl at Aloha Stadium. In the months since, head coach Nick Rolovich departed for Washington State, leading to the hire of Todd Graham as his replacement. Graham has yet to hold an official practice in Manoa due to the pandemic.