Sep 28, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Northern Illinois Huskies running back Tre Harbison (22) runs for a short gain during the second half against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Vanderbilt Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

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MAC nixes fall season, eyes spring return

School presidents in the Mid-American Conference voted Saturday to cancel all fall sports amid the continued threat of COVID-19.

The decision makes it the first FBS conference to cancel or postpone its football season. According to a statement announcing the decision, the 12-team league hopes to play in the spring instead.

“The Council of Presidents unanimously voted to take this action with the health and safety of its student-athletes, coaches and communities as its top priority,” the statement reads. “It is the intention of the membership to provide competitive opportunities for the student-athletes in these sports during the spring semester of 2021.”

Other sports affected are cross country, field hockey, soccer and volleyball. No decision has been reached on winter sports.

Other conferences have mostly shifted to a conference-only schedule, though some have left room for out-of-conference games. Because of those decisions, the MAC was already set to lose out on 11 high-profile games against the Big Ten that would have brought in some $10.5 million for member schools.

The MAC’s presidents failed to reach a decision on the season during a previous meeting on Thursday after it became clear Northern Illinois would not play this season.

Members of the MAC include Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami (Ohio), Northern Illinois, Ohio, Toledo and Western Michigan.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
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