By Ray Hamill — Football will return to the Redwood Bowl this week — sort of — with San Jose State traveling to the area to practice in the iconic arena ahead of the Mountain West Conference season.
The conference voted last week to kick off the season in late October, after previously suspending play until the spring.
And that means a return to camp for players involved, including those at San Jose State.
But with Santa Clara County restrictions in place, the Spartans are unable to prepare for their season on their own campus and will instead begin camp in the Redwood Bowl this week, having reached an agreement with the Lumberjacks.
“We look forward to continued conversations with Santa Clara County health officials regarding our ‘Return to Football’ proposal,” SJSU Athletics Director Marie Tuite said in a press release on Wednesday afternoon. “In the meantime, to prepare to compete at the FBS Division I level, it’s imperative that we move from conditioning and skill development practices to team activities. Moving our football program to Humboldt State enables our team to prepare, while our county continues the important work of reviewing and approving our protocols.
“I thank Humboldt State for their willingness to open their campus to us.”
Approximately 135 players, coaches and essential support staff will travel to Humboldt State.
The players will be housed in HSU’s on-campus housing, and the universities will formulate a plan to allow Spartan student athletes to utilize spaces to support their operational needs safely while following COVID-19 protocols.
“On behalf of our football team, many thanks to our university administration, our athletics department led by Marie Tuite, and the people at Humboldt State who are inviting us to be their guests and utilize their facilities as we get ready for the season,” San Jose head coach Brent Brennan said in the press release. “I’m excited for the young men in our program to visit another CSU and experience the beautiful Humboldt campus.”
The players, coaches and staff will be tested for COVID-19 before traveling to Arcata, and will continue to be tested once a week.
“We are happy to support a CSU family member during a time of need. Their success is our success,” HSU Athletics Director Jane Teixeira said in the press release. “Our department and incredible university partners have made this a priority to support SJSU while ensuring we provide a safe experience for our faculty, staff and students. Humboldt State is looking forward to hosting the Spartans.”