The Mid-American Conference has canceled its football season this fall because of player health and safety concerns regarding COVID-19.
The 12-member MAC is the first Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) conference opting not to play this fall. On Wednesday, UConn, an independent, became the first FBS school to announce it would not play this year. The MAC intends to try to play in the spring, sources said.
The MAC reached its decision Saturday morning in a vote by the league’s presidents, sources said. The conference presidents initially met Thursday to finalize the league’s scheduling format. However, Northern Illinois president Lisa Freeman, a former research scientist at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, indicated her school would not play this fall because of the health and safety concerns, sources said.
Besides the health and safety concerns, the MAC was one of the leagues most impacted financially by the Power Five’s decision to eliminate or reduce non-conference games. The MAC had 11 games canceled against Big Ten members, costing MAC schools a combined $10.5 million. Bowling Green State lost $2.2 million, Central Michigan lost $2.15 million, Kent State lost $1.5 million and NIU lost $1.1 million.
The MAC was established in 1946. The current membership consists of Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green State, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami (Ohio), Northern Illinois, Ohio, Toledo and Western Michigan.
This cancellation will affect all fall sports at MAC Schools sources reported.