On Friday the Mid-American Conference unanimously approved the return of football with the season set to kick off on Nov. 4. UB will officially resume its football season upon approval from the New York State Department of Health.
The MAC will play a 6-game conference-only schedule with a MAC Championship game scheduled for Dec. 18 or 19.
“Our decisions, in August and again today, have been guided by an overriding concern for the well-being of the student athletes, institutions, and the community at large,” said MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher. “Our medical advisory group, presidents, directors of athletics, and others, have worked hard to develop a plan that provides the opportunity for student athletes to compete. We will be diligent in monitoring the dynamic health environment across the Conference footprint and the country.”
The MAC cited the availability of tests and timeliness of receiving completed tests across the conference as primary changes that led to its decision to return.
The MAC’s approved COVID-19 testing protocols will begin on Oct. 5. Players will be required to take four COVID-19 tests per week, with a full set of protocols to be released next week.
Council of Presidents Chair and UB President Satish Tripathi said the CPC has been having “fulsome” discussions with MAC medical advisors and together decided that athlete’s health and safety are “paramount”
“As a result, our Conference’s medical advisors have established comprehensive protocols and procedures to safeguard our student-athletes during practice and competition,” Tripathi said.“We appreciate the effort of the many medical professionals who have contributed to this sound plan to initiate the fall football season.”
Like many other conferences have done this season, no fans or tailgating will be allowed at football games. The participation of marching bands, cheer and spirit squads will be guided by MAC protocols and enforced at university discretion.
Football is the only sport being resumed at the moment, all others –– men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey and volleyball –– are still scheduled to return in the spring.
After months of players and coaches voicing their displeasure, MACtion returns.
Anthony DeCicco is the senior sports editor for The Spectrum. In his free time, he can be found playing video games, watching ‘90s Knicks games and arguing with people on NBA Twitter at 3 a.m.