CLEVELAND (WJW) — Are you ready for some MAC-tion? The Mid-American Conference is the latest league reversing course on a decision it made two months ago to postpone the football season due to COVID-19.
“I felt like I had a black cloud over my head certainly since March but really since August when we shut down football,” said M.A.C. Commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher. “I haven’t been able to watch any football since that time.”
On Friday night, the MAC Council of Presidents voted unanimously to resume the fall football season. The decision came on the recommendation of the Medical Advisory Panel.
The season, which will begin on November 4, will be a six-game conference only schedule with a championship game coming in mid to late December.
“This is a 100-yard dash, this is a sprint, we can’t go limping into it, we need to come out of the gates hot,” said Akron head football coach Tom Arth.
Football is the only fall sport to return this year in the MAC. Soccer, cross country, volleyball and field hockey are scheduled to return in the spring.
“That now matches up with the NCAA who announced the fall championships would be held in the spring,” said Joel Nielsen, Director of Athletics at Kent State University.
One of the big reasons for the reversal on the decision to play was the availability of tests and timeliness of receiving results across the Conference.
The MAC will implement a COVID-19 testing program that requires four antigen tests per week starting on October 5. Any student athlete with a positive test will enter a cardiac screening protocol.
“We will test the 2 days immediately preceeding the competition, 48 hours before that and then what in essence is the day after competition,” said Steinbrecher.
Football may be back, but the fans won’t be. The league says no general public attendance or tailgating will be allowed at games this year.
“While we all dream of playing in front of 100,000 fans and packed stadiums the most important thing is that we get to play,” said Arth.
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