The Mid-American Conference has postponed all scheduled fall contests and MAC championships due to continuing concerns related to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The council of presidents unanimously voted to take this action with the health and safety of its student-athletes, coaches and communities as its top priority. It is the intention of the membership to provide competitive opportunities for the student-athletes in these sports during the spring semester of 2021.
“This decision is in the best interest of all Mid-American Conference student-athletes, athletics departments and university communities. The Council of Presidents has always maintained that the health, safety and well-being of everyone within our conference, especially our student-athletes, is our top priority,” MAC council of presidents’ chair and University at Buffalo president Dr. Satish K. Tripathi said.
The fall sports affected are men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s soccer, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball. At this time, there have been no decisions made regarding winter sports.
“The decision is grounded in the core values of the conference that prioritize student-athlete well-being, an area the MAC has traditionally taken a leadership role. Clearly, we are charting a conservative path – and it is one that has been recommended by our medical advisory group. It is a decision that affects roughly 2,500 student-athletes who live for the moment to compete,” MAC commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher said.
“Those opportunities and moments are fleeting, and our student-athletes have a limited window in which to showcase their talent, passion, and drive for excellence. I am heartbroken we are in this place. However, I take comfort and want to give assurance to our student-athletes, coaches, and fans that we have their best interest at heart, and we will make every effort to provide competitive opportunities in the spring.”
The MAC has begun formalizing plans for the 2021 spring semester. The conference will continue to consult with its medical advisory panel and will monitor developments surrounding the pandemic with state and local health officials, the CDC, WHO and governmental entities.
Former Ohio University quarterback Nathan Rourke starred for the Bobcats and there are a number of other Canadians who were training for a potential 2020 season with remaining eligibility to play in the MAC.