‘It’s a tough pill to swallow’: Area college football coaches reflect on canceled fall season

Coronavirus

KENT, Ohio (WJW) – After the Mid-American Conference put fall sports on hold due to COVID-19, several college football stadiums in Northeast Ohio will remain empty this fall.

MAC announced Saturday it’s postponing all fall sports as a health and safety precaution and intends to push them back to the spring.

The Big Ten Conference announced Tuesday that it is also postponing all fall sports because of potential health risks to student-athletes. The PAC-12 announced a similar move and is postponing all sport competitions through the end of the 2020 calendar year.

“It’s a tough pill to swallow, but we’re going to be here for our kids, we’re going to do right by our kids and control what we can control with everything,” Kent State University Head Football Coach Sean Lewis said.

Lewis said the team is awaiting guidance on fall training and plans for the spring from MAC leaders, which he said could come this week.

“We’ll continue to serve our kids to the best of our ability, making sure we’re putting their safety, their physical, their mental health as the highest priority at the top of our list,” Lewis said.

The University of Akron Zips are in a similar position.

“That decision was made for the health and safety of our student athletes, and in my heart, I do think it’s the right decision,” said Akron Head Football Coach Tom Arth.

Arth said it has been a mentally and emotionally taxing time for players.

“To have to tell them we’re not going to be able to play this fall certainly was not easy, but I was incredibly proud of the way our team responded,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Big Ten Conference said it will continue to evaluate options regarding sports, and decisions on winter and spring sports will continue to be evaluated.

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