Breaking: MAAC announces cancellation of fall sports


Jacob Resnick

The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference announced Monday that it will not have a fall sports season in 2020, as the threat of the coronavirus pandemic remains too great to put lives at risk.

Commissioner Rich Ensor said that the conference and its Council of Presidents have not ruled out the possibility of moving the fall competitions to the spring.

“It is the goal of the MAAC to ensure it recognizes a MAAC champion in each sport and it will review possible championship formats for the fall sports in accordance with evolving state and local regulations,” Ensor said.

Monday’s news is a crushing blow to all those involved with men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, and men’s and women’s cross country.

The announcement comes ten days after the conference eliminated non-conference games. The momentum was certainly trending further in the same direction, and the Council determined that even such limitations were not enough.

“The decision to cancel fall sports was made with student-athletes being top of mind,” Ensor said.  “It is difficult to put into words how I feel for all of the student athletes, coaches, and administrators who put in so much work on a daily basis.

“Health and safety protocols have been of the utmost priority the last several months, but unfortunately, there are too many factors that prohibit the MAAC and its institutions from safely delivering a competitive atmosphere that these individuals deserve.”

The cancellations not only affect in-season fall sports. Other programs, like basketball, baseball, and others, hold routine practices throughout September and October. Those will also be prohibited.

The MAAC joins five other Division I conferences — the Colonial Athletic Association, the Ivy League, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, the Patriot League, and the Southwestern Athletic Conference — to make the difficult decision to shut down fall operations.

Interestingly, Monday’s news does not completely shut the door on the potential for sports on Quinnipiac’s campus before 2021.

Quinnipiac’s women’s field hockey program is sponsored by the Big East Conference, which has only announced that non-conference games will not be played.

Women’s rugby, a member of the NIRA, has not officially announced plans for the fall.

In any case, the coming months will be unrecognizable to anyone who has spent a modicum of time around collegiate athletics. The health and safety precautions introduced by the MAAC in June would have made the season anything but normal and allowed for the opportunity to fail to complete the year unless all guidelines were followed to a T.

The new normal was originally the world in which such guidelines — masks, social distancing, and much more — were implemented. As it turns out, the even newer normal is the inability to hold these sporting events at all.