Mid-American Conference cancels all remaining competitions

Member-schools to suspend recruiting operations, cancel practices until further notice


The Mid-American Conference canceled all remaining regular season and championship competitions for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year, commissioner Jon Steinbrecher announced Thursday.

“During this unprecedented health crisis that continues to evolve daily, we fully support the decision made today by the Mid-American Conference and the NCAA,” UB Athletics Director Mark Alnutt said in a press release. “While we are disappointed for our student-athletes, coaches and staff who have worked diligently to prepare this spring and have had their seasons cut short, their health, safety and well-being will always be our top priority.”

The World Health Organization recently named the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic and on Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced all SUNY and CUNY schools would be moving to a “distance-learning” model.

At 12 p.m. Thursday, Steinbrecher held a press conference at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, where he announced that the MAC would be canceling its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.

In a later press release, Steinbrecher announced the cancelation of the MAC Women’s Gymnastics Championships; the suspension of off-campus recruiting activities and official and unofficial visits; and the suspension of formal and organized practices until further notice.

This decision comes after major North American sports leagues — the MLB, NBA, MLS and NHL — suspended their scheduled games. The NCAA has also canceled March Madness.

In 2018-19, UB had 297 athletes receiving either partial or full scholarships. The decision is expected to have a significant impact on the entire athletics department, which is “currently working to assure all current teams and student-athletes on the road for competition will return as soon as possible.”

UB’s men’s and women’s basketball teams both had their seasons come to a close with MAC tournament losses this week.

This is a developing story.

Justin Weiss is the senior sports editor and can be reached at justin.weiss@ubspectrum.com


Justin Weiss is the senior sports editor for The Spectrum. In his free time, he can be found hiking, playing baseball or doing both at the same time. His words have appeared in Elite Sports New York and the Long Island Herald.