Due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mid-American Conference (MAC), of which Ohio University is a member, made the announcement Saturday morning that it will delay fall conference sports in the hopes of resuming competition in those sports in the spring.
This decision was made collectively by the MAC Council of Presidents, who unanimously voted to take this action with the health and safety of its student-athletes, fellow Universities in the MAC.
“The health and safety of our student athletes, coaches and athletics support staff remain Ohio University’s top priority in the midst of the global health crisis,” Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis said. “We are extremely proud of our student athletes and their tremendous accomplishments both in the classroom and on the field of play. We recognize the disappointment that will be felt by the Bobcat nation this fall but it is our hope that we will be able to cheer on the OHIO Bobcats in the spring if it is safe to do so.”
All of OHIO’s fall team sports, including football, volleyball, soccer, field hockey, men’s and women’s cross country, and men’s and women’s golf will be postponed until spring 2021. At this time, there have been no decisions made regarding winter sports.
“While we are disappointed for our student-athletes, coaches, support staff and fans, we understand that today’s decision was made with the best interest of all in mind,” Ohio University Director of Athletics Julie Cromer said. “I’m extremely proud of our student-athletes for their resiliency during this difficult time. We look forward to the day when we can safely return to competition.”
Not long after the MAC made their announcement, the Big Ten Conference announced it is tapping the brakes on football practice, telling its schools that until further notice full contact practices cannot begin.
The conference announced all teams will remain in the first two days of what is known as the ''acclimatization period,'' working in just helmets helmets. The Big Ten said all other fall sports will continue to work with team physicians and athletic trainers to adjust practices to the appropriate level of activity.
''We understand there are many questions regarding how this impacts schedules, as well as the feasibility of proceeding forward with the season at all,'' the conference said in a statement Saturday.
''As we have consistently stated, we will continue to evaluate daily, while relying on our medical experts, to make the best
decisions possible for the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes.''