MAC cancels 2020 college football season

MAC+cancels+2020+college+football+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 — The Mid-American Conference has canceled its 2020 college football season Saturday, joining a growing number of conferences making similar decisions.

The MAC has become the first Football Bowl Subdivision to cancel its season according to Stadium’s  Brett McMurphy. The season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic out of concern for the health and safety of the MAC’s student-athletes.

However, the MAC plans on attempting a spring football season in 2021. A press conference will be held at 11:30 a.m. to make the announcement public.

It is reported that school presidents of the MAC were voting Saturday morning on whether to play in 2020. NIU President Lisa Freeman has been pushing for the MAC to cancel the season, even possibly suggesting the Huskies would not join the rest of the conference even if play was to go on as planned, according to CBS’s Adam Silverstein. 

UConn was the first FBS team to cancel its 2020 season on Thursday. It is unaffiliated with any conference. Some Football Championship Subdivision conferences have already canceled their seasons, along with all Division II and Division III sports canceling fall championships.

The MAC has already been reeling from the Big Ten’s cancelation of its non-conference games on July 9, as it was slated to play 11 games against the Power Five conference’s schools. The conference would be losing out on $10.5 million according to USA Today.

At this time it is unclear whether or not the MAC will cancel the other fall sports seasons as well.

UPDATE:

All MAC 2020 fall sports have postponed out of concern for the health and well-being of the student athletes according to a Saturday news release from NIU Athletics. The announcement affects the football, volleyball, women’s cross country and men’s and women’s soccer programs.

The MAC Council of Presidents have expressed the intention to provide oppurtunities for student-athletes to compete in the spring of 2021, provided that health and safety concerns have been alleviated at that time.

NIU teams will be able to practice and workout in accordance with NCAA regulations, while following state, local and university safety protocols.

This is a developing news story. The Northern Star will update this story as more information becomes available.