MEAC suspends fall sports, no decision on a move to spring
NORFOLK, Va. – The MEAC is the latest college conference to announce a suspension for fall sports. The suspension affects both Delaware State and UMES.
Nine football programs are affected by the decision, one made due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. The conference does leave open the potential for the fall sports schedule to be shifted to the spring. Here’s a portion of the press release sent out from Norfolk Thursday:
“The Council of Presidents and Chancellors of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announces that the league will suspend all sports competition, championship and non-championship segments, for the 2020 fall season, as a result of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. A decision is yet to be made on whether fall sports schedules will be moved to the 2021 spring semester.
“The conference currently plans to proceed with winter sports competitions as scheduled, unless health and medical professionals advise otherwise. We will apprise the public on further decisions.”
Delaware State University Director of Athletics, Dr. David S. Gines, released a statement stressing that student-athletes will still have ample opportunities to remain engaged.
“As we prepare for the Fall semester, suspended competition affords all of our 18 programs and 450 student-athletes with intensive opportunities to train, practice, and develop their crafts on-campus. We are also preparing for amended seasons and schedules still yet ahead.”
Del State president Tony Allen says practices and activities will remain possible during the pandemic. Allen says the University “has developed a partnership through Testing For America that centers on the testing, social distancing, contact tracing, and quarantine protocols to allow students to return to campus safely. Like our entire University community, our student-athletes will be tested regularly and monitored closely to ensure the safety of all our activities.”
UMES releasing their own statement Thursday, their athletic director says now is the time to put health and safety ahead of competition.
“This is not something that we take lightly and while nobody wants our student-athletes to miss part of their athletic careers, we must put their well-being ahead of competition at this time,” University of Maryland Eastern Shore Athletic Director Keith Davidson said.
The UMES statement went on:
“At Maryland Eastern Shore, this greatly affects both volleyball and cross country, where the entire seasons fall within that fall window. Men’s and women’s golf competes in both the fall and the spring, so with this at least part of the season will be missed. The women’s bowling team plays a schedule which traditionally runs from October through April and this decision will cut into that season as well.”
MEAC institutions will continue the re-socialization process for student-athletes which encompasses mental and physical health counseling, strength and conditioning protocol and compliance with all COVID-19 safety requirements.