BRIDGEPORT — The Mountain East Conference Board of Directors today announced several decisions, including the postponement of fall sports until the spring semester. The board’s resolutions come following last week’s announcement from the NCAA Board of Governors regarding additional requirements and the cancellation of 2020 NCAA Division II Fall Championships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The board also approved a reduced schedule model for fall sports that will shift to spring 2021 (football, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer, and men’s and women’s cross country), that includes a conference championship, without participants exhausting a year of eligibility utilizing the legislative relief provided to NCAA Division II institutions for the 2020-21 season.
Additionally, the board approved several other recommendations from the league’s Committee of Athletics Administrators:
• Suspend competition for winter sports until no earlier than November 1, 2020.
• Suspend all competition in all sports indefinitely, with MEC board review by no later than Oct. 15, 2020.
• Suspend the indoor track and field championship for the 2020-21 season.
• All countable athletically-related activities (CARA), excluding the restrictions regarding outside competition, for all MEC sports are permissible (as allowed under NCAA rules and Board of Governors requirements) at the discretion of each MEC member institution.
Note: The Mountain East has traditionally conducted its men’s and women’s golf conference championship in the fall, but the sport is classified by the NCAA as a spring sport, and thus will have a delayed conference championship in addition to NCAA postseason opportunities in the spring semester.
“I pledged to our board, administrators, athletics staffs, and most importantly to our student-athletes that we would exhaust every opportunity to stage competition this fall, and I am confident that is collectively what we have done within the MEC,” said Commissioner Reid Amos. “Present public health challenges, combined with the new mandates put forth by the NCAA last week, create too great of a challenge on too short of a timeline to be able to conduct meaningful competition for our fall sports.
“We are tremendously disappointed for our student-athletes, and we recognize the gravity that comes with these decisions,” Amos continued. “We now turn our efforts to keeping our student-athletes engaged with their coaches and teammates this fall, continuing to develop our return to play protocols, creating new schedules for delayed sports, and preparing for our 21 championship events now slated for the winter and spring. We will continue our commitment to providing a meaningful athletics experience for all of our student-athletes and crowning MEC champions during the 2020-21 academic year.”