Mid-American Conference first FBS conference to cancel fall football season

The Mid-American Conference cancelled its fall sports season on Saturday because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The cancellation applies to football, cross country, soccer, field hockey and volleyball. It has not made a decision about winter sports. The MAC is the first Football Bowl Subdivision conference, the highest level of college football, to announce it won’t play football this fall.

“This was not an easy decision but one that we had to make in the best interest of our student-athletes, coaches and institutions,” said MAC Chair of the Council of Director of Athletics and Miami Director of Athletics David Sayler. “It is our responsibility to give our student-athletes an experience that allows them to participate at the highest level in the safest manner possible. After consulting with our Medical Advisory Panel, we felt there were just too many unknowns surrounding the pandemic for us to proceed with the fall season.”

The MAC plans to provide “comprehensive opportunities” for athletes in these sports in the spring of 2021 and has begun formalizing plans for the spring.

The MAC includes Miami University and five other programs in Ohio: Bowling Green, Akron, Ohio, Kent State and Toledo. It also includes Northern Illinois, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, Buffalo and Ball State.

“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,” said MAC Commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher in a statement. “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. 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.”

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