The Middle Atlantic Conference — which includes 18 colleges and universities across 3 three states — announced on Friday the suspension of college sports for the fall semester with the possibility of moving the sports to the spring. The move postpones the upcoming fall sports season and delays the start of winter until 2021.
Lycoming College in Williamsport is among the schools whose fall seasons were suspended on Friday. The Division III conference sponsors 27 sports with more than 7,000 athletes.
Its 18 member institutions, located across three states, are: Albright College (Reading), Alvernia University (Reading), Arcadia University (Glenside), Delaware Valley University (Doylestown), DeSales University (Center Valley), Eastern University (St. Davids), Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham Campus (Madison, N.J.), Hood College (Frederick, Md.), King's College (Wilkes-Barre), Lebanon Valley College (Annville), Lycoming College (Williamsport), Messiah University (Mechanicsburg), Misericordia University (Dallas), Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, N.J.), Stevenson University (Owings Mills, Md.), Widener University (Chester) and Wilkes University (Wilkes-Barre), and York College of Pennsylvania (York).
"After many long, thoughtful conversations and extensive review of the latest public health data and guidance from the NCAA, Alvernia and the rest of the Middle Atlantic Conference, have reached the difficult decision to suspend athletic competition in the fall of 2020," said Alvernia University President John R. Loyack. "Participation in athletics is a vital component of the Alvernia student experience, but the health, safety and well-being of student-athletes, coaches and the wider Alvernia community remains our number one priority. Our dedicated coaching staff, athletic administration and medical personnel are diligently outlining opportunities that will allow our student-athletes to safely engage in athletic activities on campus."
The MAC presidents, athletics directors and the MAC COVID-19 Advisory Group will continue to evaluate the athletics landscape throughout the 2020-21 academic year to address:
- Engaging fall, winter and spring sport student-athletes in the fall term with coaches following all institutional, local and national health and safety guidelines
- Shifting fall sport competitive seasons to the spring, insofar as possible
- Scheduling winter sports competition beginning in 2021
- Implementing league-wide and campus safety measures for practices and competitions when they do occur
- Developing league-wide and institutional personal and professional development programming
"This decision was very difficult, as we know how deep the love of the game is for our student-athletes and that intercollegiate events are an important part of campus life for our entire community," said Dr. Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Chair of MAC President's Council and Hood College President. "However, we are confident that our coaches and athletic staff will work with the students to build an engaging athletic experience for our student-athletes while mitigating the risk of COVID-19."