Go ahead and add the MEAC to the growing list of lower-level leagues giving up on football in the fall.
July 8, the Ivy League officially announced it was postponing all fall sports in 2020. Five days later, the Patriot League of the FCS shut down all of its fall sports as well. Friday, another FCS shoe has dropped as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) confirmed that it too has suspended football other fall sports seasons. The release stated that “[a] decision is yet to be made on whether fall sports schedules will be moved to the 2021 spring semester.”
The reason for the suspension is, of course, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“The health and safety of our student-athletes continue to be our number one priority. We have made the decision to suspend all sports competitions after careful review of the current conditions and consideration of the potential exposure that regular travel to competitions may cause and ongoing extensive physical contact,” said Howard University President and Chair of MEAC Council of Presidents and Chancellors, Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, in a statement. “While our competitions have been suspended, each member institution will plan ongoing engagement of all student-athletes to ensure optimization of their physical and mental well-being as they continue their matriculation.”
“Obviously this is an arduous decision because everyone wants to have a fall season for student-athletes, fans and others,” said MEAC commissioner Dr. Dennis Thomas. “Part of our responsibility is to ensure the mental and physical health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff is paramount. It is imperative that everyone recognize that is our first and foremost responsibility.”
The move by the MEAC to at least suspend the 2020 football season will impact eight games vs. FBS schools:
- Florida A&M-UCF
- Howard-Arkansas State
- Morgan State-Appalachian State
- Norfolk State-Charlotte
- Norfolk State-East Carolina
- North Carolina A&T-Liberty
- North Carolina Central-Ohio