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MAC Cancels 2020 College Football Season

TOPLINE

The Mid-American Conference on Saturday unanimously voted to cancel its fall 2020 season because of the coronavirus, making it the first top college football league to do so.

KEY FACTS

The cancellation extends to all fall sports, including cross country, field hockey, soccer and volleyball.

The league said it made the decision with “the health and safety of its student-athletes, coaches and communities as its top priority.”

According to the Associated Press, the final blow came when the Power Five—the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big Ten Conference, Big 12 Conference, Pac-12 Conference and Southeastern Conference (SEC)—announced plans to ditch most non-conference play this fall, eliminating revenue-generating games with MAC teams.

The league is instead planning a spring season.

Crucial quote

“There are simply too many unknowns to put our student-athletes into situations that are not clearly understood,” MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said at a press conference, according to CBS. “It’s not the easy decision, but it was the right decision.”  

Key background

Colleges are slowly plunging ahead with their seasons, albeit with changes. The ACC plans to compete as one large division instead of two and allow for one non-conference game that “must be played in the home state of the ACC institution,” for example. The University of Connecticut this week became the first individual school to cancel its football season, saying “the safety challenges created by COVID-19 place our football student-athletes at an unacceptable level of risk.”

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