MAC to Resume 2020 Football Season in November

The Mid-American Conference Council of Presidents voted unanimously Friday to resume the 2020 fall football season.

A six-game conference only schedule will begin on Wednesday, Nov. 4, with the season concluding with the MAC championship game on either Dec. 18 or 19. A full schedule will be released at a later date.

The MAC will implement a COVID-19 testing program that required four antigen tests per week with all positive tests needing confirmation with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. Any student-athlete with a positive test will enter a cardiac screening protocol.

“The Council of Presidents has been having fulsome discussions with our Mid-American Conference medical advisors,” said Council of Presidents Chair and University at Buffalo president Dr. Satish Tripathi in a statement. “Throughout these discussions, we have underscored that the health and safety of our student-athletes, and our entire Mid-American Conference university community, is paramount.  As a result, our Conference’s medical advisors have established comprehensive protocols and procedures to safeguard our student-athletes during practice and competition. We appreciate the effort of the many medical professionals who have contributed to this sound plan to initiate the fall football season.”

The MAC’s COVID-19 testing protocols included four tests per week and will begin on Monday, Oct. 5. A complete set of protocols will be released next week.

“I am pleased to inform our student athletes, coaches, and fans, that the Mid-American Conference will resume the fall football season,” MAC Commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher said in a statement. “Our decisions, in August and again today, have been guided by an overriding concern for the well-being of the student athletes, institutions, and the community at large. Our medical advisory group, presidents, directors of athletics, and others, have worked hard to develop a plan that provides the opportunity for student athletes to compete. We will be diligent in monitoring the dynamic health environment across the Conference footprint and the country.”

No general public attendance or tailgating will be allowed at games. Participation of marching bands, dance, cheer and spirit squads at football games will be guided by MAC protocols at the school’s discretion that is consistent with public health guidance.

“I am happy to recommend the return of Mid-American Conference Football.” said Dr. Roger Kruse, MD/FAAFP/FACSM, Head Team Physician at the University of Toledo and chair of the Medical Advisory Group. “This was made possible by the ability to obtain rapid “point of care” testing.  We will test four times a week to assure player safety.   This protocol was unanimously approved by the MAC Medical Advisory Group and we feel confident of a safe return.”

The MAC suspended all fall sports back on Aug. 8, becoming the first FBS conference to postpone football. All other fall sports are tentatively scheduled to return in the spring.


Categories: Football