Updates from MAAC Council of Presidents meeting

Saints and Danes

Edison, N.J. (June 8, 2020) – The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Council of Presidents wrapped up its virtual spring meeting last week, during which it acted on several items integral to the business of the conference and national issues in intercollegiate athletics. Among the outcomes approved by the Council, which is comprised of the Presidents from the 11 member institutions, were the following:

  • Implemented a policy that all MAAC student-athletes, including members of the basketball programs, are not allowed on campus for off season conditioning during June and July because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Agreed that there will be a common start date for nonconference and conference contests for MAAC Fall sports and these dates will be determined soon once state regulators in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey complete their reopening of operations phase-in schedules.

The Council also discussed the efforts of the MAAC COVID-19 Working Group, comprised of medical professionals and senior level administrators to develop resumption of competition policies. The working group’s mission is to help provide guidance as the conference prepares for the return of athletics activities, including team gatherings, practices, conditioning and competition in compliance with state, local, NCAA and campus guidelines. In that vein the Council provided the following guidance.

  • Charged the working group to create common MAAC baseline policies and procedures for all on campus athletic activities and competitions this coming academic year.

The Council approved several cost-containment measures brought forward by the MAAC staff and the Committee on Athletic Administration (COAA) addressing the financial challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures identified options that can realize savings in both the MAAC operating budget and within individual institutional athletics department budgets. All measures are designed exclusively for the 2020-21 academic year. Evaluation will be ongoing to determine if revisions are necessary in real time and/or moving forward.

Cost-Containment Measures:

  • Reduce MAAC operating budget by 20 percent, including a restructuring of the staff that eliminated 6 FTEs and three graduate fellows. MAAC Commissioner agreed to a 5% reduction in his salary line and all other salaries were frozen at 2019-20 levels.
  • Implemented a dues holiday for the 2020-21 academic year, which saves each member school $65,000.
  • Paid off mortgage notes on the MAAC office building providing nine member schools additional cash for their operations.
  • Reduced staff travel to regular-season contests, selected conventions and appropriate professional development seminars.
  • Reduced officiating fees 15% in all selected team sports.
  • Moved in-person coaches’ meetings and the conference’s 2020 spring and fall, and the 2021 spring meetings, to virtual events.
  • Allowed institutions to schedule one non-Division I opponent in all sports (previously only the basketball programs had this option).
  • Reduced conference baseball series from three days to two (double-header and single game).
  • Reduced men’s and women’s soccer, softball, baseball and women’s lacrosse to four-team formats (from six team) and required championships to be at one-site, with Thursday/Saturday or Friday/Sunday formats. (Note: Volleyball decision pending)
  • Eliminated awards shows, team banquets and student-athlete gifts for the 2020-21 academic year and eliminated selected broadcasts.

The Council also approved the following officer for two-year terms beginning July 1.
President:                   Rev. James J. Maher, C.M.
                                          Niagara University
Vice President:                   Dr. Patrick Leahy
                                          Monmouth University
Secretary/Treasurer:         Richard Ensor, Esq.

It was also confirmed that Bill Maher, Director of Athletics at Canisius College, will chair the Committee on Athletic Administration and Sarah Fraser, Deputy Director of Athletics and SWA at Quinnipiac University, will serve as vice chair for the 2020-22 academic years.

Finally, the MAAC Council of Presidents agreed to meet again on June 26 to review the COVID-19 Working Groups recommendations for on-campus and MAAC Championships policies, protocols and procedures.  Also, on the agenda will be recommendations from the MAAC Committee on Athletic Administration on the resumption of fall sports, including the common dates for non-conference and conference competition to begin.

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