The football game between Air Force and New Mexico set for Saturday has been rescheduled for Nov. 23 in light of a Lobos player’s death, the Mountain West announced Wednesday.
New Mexico announced a day earlier that defensive lineman Nahje Flowers had died, though it did not give a cause of death.
“In light of the circumstances and following a thorough review of all factors, which included multiple conversations with both institutions, the conference office has determined this is the appropriate course of action,” Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson said. “Our focus is on the family, friends and teammates who have been affected during this difficult time.”
Air Force and New Mexico each had open dates Nov. 23.
“We share New Mexico’s grief over the tragic loss of Nahje Flowers and offer our deepest condolences,” Air Force athletic director Nathan Pine said in a statement. “Air Force will now make the necessary steps to go along with Commissioner Craig Thompson and the Mountain West’s unprecedented decision to cancel this weekend’s game and reschedule. While Air Force has been disadvantaged by the decision, it pales in comparison to the loss New Mexico experienced.”
Falcons coach Troy Calhoun offered condolences Tuesday and was asked if he had been part of talks of potentially rescheduling the game and said simply that a coach wouldn’t be part of such discussions.
Eerily, this is not the first time in 2019 that an Air Force team has seen its schedule impacted by a New Mexico student-athlete’s death. In May, the final two games of a three-game baseball series were canceled in Albuquerque after Lobos junior Jackson Weller was fatally shot.