EDISON, N.J. (BVM) — The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) has decided to join the growing list of conferences and leagues that have either postponed or canceled its fall sports season. On July 27, the MAAC made it official by canceling its fall sports competitions.
The 11 schools that make up the MAAC consist of Canisius College, Fairfield University, Iona College, Manhattan College, Marist College, Monmouth University, Niagara University, Quinnipiac University, Rider University, Saint Peter’s University and Siena College.
In a press release, the MAAC detailed why it was in their best interest to cancel its upcoming season and left the door open to a future return date for fall sports.
“Following today’s Council of Presidents meeting, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) has decided to cancel fall sports competition due to continuing health and safety concerns surrounding the global COVID-19 pandemic. A decision on whether fall sport competition would be feasible in the spring will be determined by the presidents at a later date.”
With questions surrounding student athletes, MAAC commissioner Rich Ensor talked about some of the reasons why the conference felt it was necessary to cancel its season.
“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.”
With football not being played in the conference, Ensor highlighted the fall sports that would be affected by the recent news while also talking about the future possibility of a championship format.
“The fall sports impacted by the Council’s decision include men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, and men’s and women’s cross country and sports that conduct non-traditional season segments in the fall,” Ensor said. “The MAAC Executive Committee will explore with the Committee on Athletic Administration (COAA) the goal of providing the student-athletes with a schedule of contests among conference members in the spring of 2021 in accordance with each institution’s procedures and applicable state regulations.
“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.”
With the recent decision, the MAAC becomes the eighth Division I conference to suspend play of its fall sports season joining the America East, Atlantic 10, Colonial Athletic Association (not playing football), Ivy League, MEAC, Patriot League and the SWAC.