Mid-American Conference postpones start of fall athletic season

Mid-American+Conference+postpones+start+of+fall+athletic+season

Jarrett Huff | Northern Star

A press conference table sits empty March 12, prior to the announcement of the cancellation of the 2020 MAC Basketball Championships at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio.

Jarrett Huff, Sports Editor

DeKALB — COVID-19’s effect on the Mid-American Conference’s fall sports season has grown with the announcement of several sports’ seasons being postponed, according to an article on the MAC’s website.

The announcement affects field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s cross country competition as their seasons will be postponed to Sept. 3.

The decision was made out of concern for the safety and well-being of the student-athletes, coaches and team personnel according to the MAC’s statement. The goal of the postponement is to provide additional time to make sure that when competition does begin, the environment is safe for everyone.

The Sept. 3 start date for the MAC’s Olympic sports aligns itself with the start of the MAC football season, allowing for all fall competition to start at the same time. 

As for the exhibition and non-conference events originally scheduled prior to Sept. 3, the MAC is leaving the rescheduling of those events up to the individual institutions.

Due to the ever-changing landscape of the pandemic’s effect on the country, the MAC will be assessing future situations to determine the appropriate steps that may need to be taken down the road. 

“The MAC and its member institutions will continue to assess the latest developments related to COVID-19 in weighing the potential impact on fall schedules,” the MAC said in a statement on its website.

NIU President Lisa Freeman and Athletic Director Sean T. Frazier issued a joint statement regarding MAC’s announcement:

“As we continue to evaluate and monitor the impact of COVID-19 on college athletics, our first consideration has been and will continue to be the health and safety of Northern Illinois University student-athletes, coaches, staff and all who may be affected.”

“Today’s announcement by the Mid-American Conference to push back the start of all 2020 fall sports seasons until Thursday, Sept. 3 provides us with additional time to determine the best – and safest – course of action going forward.”

The Northern Star will update this story as more information becomes available.