WESTFIELD, Mass. - The Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference announced Thursday morning that the eight MaSCAC Presidents made the difficult decision to suspend the fall 2020 athletic season, including all indoor and outdoor athletic competition.
“The MaSCAC Presidents know the value of intercollegiate athletics to our campus community and how important sports are to our student-athletes," said MCLA President James Birge, the chair of the MaSCAC Council of Presidents. "The news that we need to suspend the fall season is understandably disappointing, but the health and safety of our students and staff is of the utmost importance.
“These are unprecedented times and making the difficult decision to suspend fall athletics is equally unprecedented. We will continue to monitor the facts and reevaluate the status of athletics as information and data evolves,” said President Birge.
The MaSCAC office has been meeting regularly with the presidents, athletic directors, athletic trainers and other essential staff to consider ways we can bring our student-athletes back to the playing field safely while adhering to all state, federal and NCAA guidelines with the health and well-being of our student-athletes and our staff as our priority.
“Unfortunately, the highly contagious nature of the COVID-19 virus and the risk of community spread through conference competition proved too great a risk to our student athletes to engage in conference play," MaSCAC Commissioner Angela Baumann said. "With the health and well-being of our student-athletes and our staff as our priority, we made the difficult decision to suspend the fall 2020 MaSCAC season."
Although there won’t be fall contests, the state universities are planning to provide student-athletes with on-campus, in-person practices, conditioning and training opportunities during the fall semester to support their physical and mental well-being. These practice and training opportunities will not use a year of NCAA Eligibility and will be done in compliance with the campus, state, federal and NCAA COVID guidance and protocols.
The conference is considering alternative competition options such as shifting fall athletics to the spring. The conference is working with the NCAA, conference teams, MaSCAC presidents and state officials to determine the viability of such a plan.
Winter sports are still being evaluated and will be addressed in the fall.
Throughout the 2020-21 academic year, the MaSCAC will be celebrating its 50th anniversary with special features, facts and trivia commemorating the event. Our conference has a rich history of success on the playing field and in the classroom. Over the academic year, the conference will be highlighting the student-athletes, teams, coaches, and administrators from the last 50 years.
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