Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Joins List of Leagues Cancelling Fall Sports

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The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Monday announced that it will cancel fall sports competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision specifically affects fall-season sports – men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s cross country. It leaves open the possibility of a compensatory season in the spring for fall athletes.

The decision stops short of cancelling all athletic competition in the fall semester as other leagues have done. It also doesn’t provide a specific timeline for determinations about sports like swimming and basketball that begin in the middle of the fall semester.

“The MAAC Executive Committee will explore with the Committee on Athletic Administration (COAA) the goal of providing the student-athletes with a schedule of contests among conference members in the spring of 2021 in accordance with each institution’s procedures and applicable state regulations,” MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor said in a league statement. “It is the goal of the MAAC to ensure it recognizes a MAAC champion in each sport and it will review possible championship formats for the fall sports in accordance with evolving state and local regulations.”

The MAAC includes 11 institutions in the Mid-Atlantic region. The decision is aided by the fact that it doesn’t sponsor football; only two of the MAAC members (Marist College and Monmouth University) sponsor varsity football. Monmouth Monday bundled football into its cancellations. Marist deferred that decision pending the ruling of the league it’s part of, the Pioneer Football League, but the school stated that, “it is presumed that the Red Foxes’ football season may be postponed barring significant improvements related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Student-athletes will still be able to train on campus during competition suspensions, and the league has pledged to work on behalf of athletes regarding NCAA eligibility.

“The decision to cancel fall sports was made with student-athletes being top of mind,” Ensor said. “It is difficult to put into words how I feel for all of the student athletes, coaches, and administrators who put in so much work on a daily basis. Health and safety protocols have been of the utmost priority the last several months, but unfortunately, there are too many factors that prohibit the MAAC and its institutions from safely delivering a competitive atmosphere that these individuals deserve.”

4 comments

  1. Miranda Emaus

    I understand this doesn’t affect swimming yet. But why can’t cross go on? Cross country is about as socially distant as you can get in a sport. If you are worried about the start then just run more heats and the finish is all automatic timing so it’s not like that’s a problem. Marathons have been occurring during the lockdown! This is a blanket answer that will only hurt kids in the end.

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