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MAC to Eliminate Postseason Tournaments for Several Sports

The Mid-American Conference will be eliminating postseason tournaments for multiple sports starting in the 2021 season, MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher told the Toldeo, Ohio based WTOL on Tuesday. 

The conference will be eliminating postseason tournaments for the following sports:

  • Women's Tennis
  • Men's Tennis
  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Men's Soccer
  • Women's Soccer
  • Women's Lacrosse 
  • Field Hockey

In addition to eliminating the aforementioned playoff tournaments, the conference is also reconfiguring its postseason play in a number of other sports, including men's and women's basketball and volleyball. 

Per WTOL, the MAC will be getting rid of all of its first-round home games in the men's and women's basketball tournaments will be eliminated, as instead, the league's top-eight teams from the regular season will advance to the tournament site in Cleveland. 

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"The pandemic and resulting financial issues play into that," Steinbrecher told WTOL. "As the financial situation changes, it will give us a chance to re-evaluate."

The changes are expected to last at least four years, per Steinbrecher.

The decision to adjust its postseason schedule comes as those within the college sports world are forced to wrestle with how to proceed throughout the on-going health crisis.

As Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger noted in early April, college athletic departments could face long-term and severe financial impacts from an economic recession. Such impacts could alter not only how individual departments operate but also lead to broader changes to college athletics.

Speaking specifically about the potential impact that COVID-19 could have on college football, one Power 5 athletic director who wished to remain anonymous told Sports Illustrated, We're all effed," referring to the notion that college football would be canceled. "There's no other way to look at this, is there?"