MAAC announces cancellation of fall sports due to COVID-19 pandemic

College Sports

LOUDONVILLE, NY – Following today’s Council of Presidents meeting, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) has decided to cancel fall sports competition due to continuing health and safety concerns surrounding the global COVID-19 pandemic. A decision on whether fall sport competition would be feasible in the spring will be determined by the presidents at a later date. Athletically related activities and training opportunities for enrolled student-athletes will be structured in accordance with each institution’s procedures and applicable state regulations.

“It’s heartbreaking to have another athletics season disrupted due to the continuing complexities created by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we deeply sympathize with all of our Saints who have been affected,” said Siena College Vice President and Director of Athletics John D’Argenio. “However, the health and well-being of our student athletes, coaches, administrators, and staff will always be our top priority and, given the current state, local, and campus protocols which we all must adhere to, playing fall sports unfortunately is not practical at this time. We are committed to providing a safe environment which our Saints can compete in, and will continue to cultivate an atmosphere which supports their personal development throughout their uniquely Siena experience.”

MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor notes that, “The fall sports impacted by the Council’s decision include men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, and men’s and women’s cross country and sports that conduct non-traditional season segments in the fall. The MAAC Executive Committee will explore with the Committee on Athletic Administration (COAA) the goal of providing the student-athletes with a schedule of contests among conference members in the spring of 2021 in accordance with each institution’s procedures and applicable state regulations. It is the goal of the MAAC to ensure it recognizes a MAAC champion in each sport and it will review possible championship formats for the fall sports in accordance with evolving state and local regulations.”

The MAAC Council of Presidents has pledged full advocacy on behalf of our student-athletes to work with the NCAA in the pursuit of any waivers that preserve lost opportunities because of these COVID-19 disruptions. The Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA) is working with the NCAA on a series of waivers related to fall sports eligibility and competition.

Statement of the MAAC Council of Presidents:

The MAAC Council of Presidents and the Committee on Athletic Administration recognizes the disappointment that will undoubtedly be felt by student-athletes, fans, and supporters impacted by the cancellation of fall sports competition. It was clear during this process that the MAAC membership must focus its review on appropriate measures to ensure the health, safety and well-being of student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and the campus community which is the primary responsibility of its member institutions.

MAAC student-athletes whose seasons have been cancelled will still be permitted to train when they return to campus. Institutions will be responsible for implementing their own training guidelines in accordance with state and local COVID-19 regulations and guidance provided by the NCAA in its Resocialization of Collegiate Sport: Developing Standards for Practice and Competition including testing protocols.

The safety and wellbeing of MAAC student-athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic has been the conference’s top priority dating back to the cancelation of the 2020 Hercules Tires MAAC Basketball Championships. In recent months, the MAAC has issued policy statements regarding the Resumption of Athletic Competition Principles and Return to Campus and Athletic Activity Action Plan for MAAC Institutions

“The decision to cancel fall sports was made with student-athletes being top of mind,” further notes Commissioner Ensor.  “It is difficult to put into words how I feel for all of the student athletes, coaches, and administrators who put in so much work on a daily basis. Health and safety protocols have been of the utmost priority the last several months, but unfortunately, there are too many factors that prohibit the MAAC and its institutions from safely delivering a competitive atmosphere that these individuals deserve.”  

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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