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MAC Cancels Fall Football Season, Will Attempt to Play This Spring

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The Mid-American Conference has canceled fall sports, including football, due to concerns over player health and safety amid the coronavirus pandemic, the league announced Saturday.

The conference, which is comprised of 12 members, is the first FBS conference to opt not to play this fall. On Wednesday, UConn, an independent, became the first FBS school to cancel its football season amid the pandemic.

MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said in a Saturday morning press conference that the decision to cancel fall sports was unanimous among league presidents. Steinbrecher added, "the league will make every effort possible to provide competitive opportunities in the spring."

"There are simply too many unknowns to put our student-athletes into situations that are not clearly understood," he said. "... It's not the easy decision, but it was the right decision." 

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The fall sports affected also include men's and women's cross country, field hockey, men's and women's soccer and women's volleyball. No decisions have been made regarding winter sports.

Stadium's Brett McMurphy first reported that MAC would cancel fall sports after the league presidents met Saturday to vote. The group previously met on Thursday to finalize the MAC's scheduling format, and Northern Illinois president Lisa Freeman reportedly pushed for the league not to play and even suggested her school would opt out due to COVID-19 concerns.

The Huskies are one of the top programs in the conference and have won four conference titles in the last nine years.

The MAC was created in 1946 and currently consists of well-known schools like Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green State, Kent State and Miami (Ohio) among its 12 members.