EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — On Thursday, El Paso County Judge Ricardo A. Samaniego announced a two-week shutdown for non-essential businesses starting on Oct. 30 at midnight.
One of the biggest questions to arise following the announcement: how does this affect sports? Unfortunately, there’s not much of an answer to that question as sports in El Paso appear to be in limbo. Judge Samaniego cannot enforce sports to shutdown, he can only encourage them to do so.
“We can only highly recommend, but can’t intervene with school districts, collegiate or professional sports,” said Samaniego. “We are hoping that we have more partners that are consciousness — at this point in time in our community — as it is one of the most important things that we can do to flatten this curve.”
Saturday’s North Texas-UTEP football game was postponed on Wednesday at the request of the UNT athletic department, but the Miners are scheduled to practice on Friday and will host FIU next Saturday, Nov. 7. UTEP says they will continue to practice and compete under the NCAA and Conference USA stringent testing protocols. University officials tell KTSM the leadership council will meet on Friday to discuss their response to the judge’s order.
On Sunday, Judge Samaniego recommended independent school districts suspend athletics for two weeks. Canutillo ISD, El Paso ISD, and Socorro all fell in line with his recommendation and suspended competition, however, Anthony ISD, Clint ISD, Fabens ISD, San Elizario ISD, Tornillo ISD, and Ysleta ISD have all decided to continue with fall sports.
There are currently three football games scheduled to take place this weekend, including the District 1-4A championship between Riverside and Clint. Playoff volleyball games are scheduled to take place in District 1-4A, as well as cross country district championship races. It is unclear if any of these events will take place.
Ysleta ISD released a statement on Thursday night reading, “The Ysleta Independent School District is reviewing the details of the County Judge’s order this evening. If there is an update or change regarding the status of our fall sports, we will ensure our parents and community are informed of our decision on Friday.”
This is a developing story. Stay tuned on-air and online at ktsm.com for the latest updates.