MAC postpones fall sports, including football, to Spring of 2021

By Kevin Kelley -

The Mid-American Conference (MAC) has postponed their fall sports, including football, to Spring of 2021, the league announced on Saturday.

The postponement of MAC sports this fall, voted on unanimously by the Council of Presidents, includes football, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball.

“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. “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.”

The move, which comes as a result of the ongoing novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, makes the MAC the first Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) conference to postpone or cancel their fall season.

“This decision is in the best interest of all Mid-American Conference student-athletes, athletics departments and university communities,” said MAC Council of Presidents’ Chair and University at Buffalo President Dr. Satish K. Tripathi. “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.”

Eight conferences in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) have previously announced the cancellation of fall football, with a few planning to play next spring. Thode conferences include the Ivy League, Patriot League, Mid-Eastern Athletic Association (MEAC), Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), Northeast Conference (NEC), Pioneer Football League (PFL), and Big Sky Conference.

“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.”

MAC football members include Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami (Ohio), Northern Illinois, Ohio, Toledo, and Western Michigan.

Below are the non-conference games canceled as a result of the MAC’s decision. Games previously canceled by other conference are not listed.

  • Youngstown State at Akron (Sept. 5)
  • Akron at New Mexico State (Sept. 12)
  • UMass at Akron (Oct. 17)
  • Robert Morris at Bowling Green (Sept. 12)
  • Liberty at Bowling Green (Oct. 3)
  • Buffalo at Kansas State (Sept. 5)
  • Buffalo at Army (Oct. 24)
  • Kennesaw State at Kent State (Sept. 12)
  • Miami (Ohio) at Pitt (Sept. 12)
  • Cincinnati at Miami (Ohio) (Sept. 19)
  • Army at Miami (Ohio) (Oct. 3)
  • Ohio at Boston College (Sept. 12)
  • Marshall at Ohio (Sept. 19)
  • Ohio at Texas State (Sept. 26)
  • Ball State at Iowa State (Sept. 12)
  • Wyoming at Ball State (Sept. 26)
  • San Jose State at Central Michigan (Sept. 5)
  • Coastal Carolina at Eastern Michigan (Sept. 12)
  • Eastern Michigan at Army (Oct. 17)
  • BYU at Northern Illinois (Oct. 24)
  • Toledo at Tulsa (Sept. 5)
  • San Diego State at Toledo (Sept. 12)
  • Western Michigan at Cincinnati (Sept. 11)
  • Western Michigan at Notre Dame (Sept. 19)

MAC Football Schedule

Comments (7)

This decision is a surprise. It affects far more than just 2,500 student-athletes. I wonder if Ohio’s Governor played any role in this decision, since half the league is in his state. If so, it is not good news for tOSU.

Agreed that the MAC’s decision is a surprise. Especially with the other conferences coming up with modified schedules.

After all the FCS conferences that have canceled their seasons I can not think this is a surprise. However one more conference postpones and then the rest of the dominos come falling down. I do hope I am wrong and virus immediately gets better.

I’m sure a large number of bowl games will be canceled and the others will be relocated tie ins.

With BYU losing its trip to NIU & ND losing its visit from WMU, Kinda makes a BYU @ ND game a natural fit right?