The Northeast Conference (NEC) has postponed their 2020 football season as a result of the ongoing novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the conference announced on Wednesday.
The postponement also includes men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball, as well as all other NEC sports scheduled to engage in competition this fall.
Per the release, the Northeast Conference Council of Presidents plans to “…reconvene again by October 1 to evaluate the public health crisis and competitive options moving forward.”
“While this decision was exceedingly difficult and will be incredibly heartbreaking for our NEC student-athletes, coaches and administrators, the NEC Council of Presidents focused on the importance of the health and safety and well-being of our entire campus communities,” said NEC Commissioner Noreen Morris. “This pandemic has challenged us all in ways we could never have imagined, and I applaud our student-athletes and coaches for handling this difficult time with grace and courage. We are committed to providing all of our student-athletes with meaningful practice and training activities this fall and look forward to reconvening our Presidents by October 1 to discuss future competitive opportunities.”
The NEC currently has eight football-playing members: Bryant, Central Connecticut, Duquesne, LIU, Merrimack, Sacred Heart, Saint Francis U., and Wagner. Merrimack is currently in the process of reclassifying from Division II.
The NEC is the sixth Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) conference to cancel or postpone their fall sports. The Ivy League, Patriot League, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), and Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) previously announced their decisions to cancel football this fall.
One league, the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) has postponed its 2020 football season to the spring of 2021. Additionally, the Pioneer Football League announced their intention to play a conference-only schedule this season.