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 firstname.lastname@example.org