Mountain East Conference suspends fall sports

WOAY – The Mountain East Conference announced Thursday that the 2020 seasons for all fall sports teams have been moved to spring 2021, following recommendations from the NCAA Board of Governors.

Last week, it was determined that all fall sports championships in Division II would be canceled, but the MEC said discussions were in place at that time about potentially holding a regular season.

With Thursday’s announcement, fall sports (football, cross country, soccer, and women’s volleyball) would move to spring 2021, with plans for conference championships. While the MEC holds its golf conference championship in the fall, the NCAA classifies golf as a spring sport, so those teams will have a delayed conference championship in addition to NCAA postseason opportunities in the spring semester.

The MEC also determined that all sports, regardless of season, would be suspended indefinitely, with the MEC Board to complete a review by October 15. Competition for winter sports would start no sooner than November 1, and the indoor track & field conference championship has been suspended.

“I pledged to our board, administrators, athletics staffs, and most importantly to our student-athletes that we would exhaust every opportunity to stage competition this fall, and I am confident that is collectively what we have done within the MEC,” said Commissioner Reid Amos. “Present public health challenges, combined with the new mandates put forth by the NCAA last week, create too great of a challenge on too short of a timeline to be able to conduct meaningful competition for our fall sports.

“We are tremendously disappointed for our student-athletes, and we recognize the gravity that comes with these decisions,” Amos continued. “We now turn our efforts to keeping our student-athletes engaged with their coaches and teammates this fall, continuing to develop our return to play protocols, creating new schedules for delayed sports, and preparing for our 21 championship events now slated for the winter and spring. We will continue our commitment to providing a meaningful athletics experience for all of our student-athletes and crowning MEC champions during the 2020-21 academic year.”