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MAC postpones 2020 football season; Power 5 may follow suit

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With the Mid-American Conference (MAC) joining the Ivy League in postponing all fall sports, including football, leaders of the Power 5 football conferences held an emergency meeting last night to discuss whether to postpone the 2020 football season to spring 2021.

The goal is to play the fall sports season in spring 2021.

“The decision is grounded in the core values of the Conference that prioritize student-athlete well-being, an area the MAC has traditionally taken a leadership role,” said MAC Commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher in a press statement. “Clearly, we are charting a conservative path–and it is one that has been recommended by our medical advisory group. It is a decision that affects roughly 2,500 student-athletes who live for the moment to compete. Those opportunities and moments are fleeting, and our student-athletes have a limited window in which to showcase their talent, passion, and drive for excellence. I am heartbroken we are in this place. However, I take comfort and want to give assurance to our student-athletes, coaches, and fans that we have their best interest at heart, and we will make every effort to provide competitive opportunities in the spring.”

Whether the MAC and Ivy League stand alone remains to be seen, as a meeting last night among leaders of the Power 5 football conferences reportedly centered on a similar postponement of the 2020 football season to spring 2021, according to several media outlets. The Big Ten and the Pac 12 university presidents are reportedly ready to pull the trigger in a shift; the meeting was called to gauge interest among SEC, Big 12 and ACC leaders. From ESPN:

No major decisions were made on Sunday night, but multiple sources in several Power 5 conferences have told ESPN the commissioners talked about trying to collaborate if their respective presidents do decide to cancel or postpone fall sports.

Several sources have indicated to ESPN that Big Ten presidents, following a meeting on Saturday, are ready to pull the plug on its fall sports season, and they wanted to gauge if commissioners and university presidents and chancellors from the other Power 5 conferences — the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC — will fall in line with them….

A Group of 5 athletic director told ESPN: “I don’t know why we are trying to push to play in the fall. It’s always made more sense to me to just play in the spring.”

While no decisions came after the conference call, discussions will continue this week, with an ACC athletic directors meeting set for today and a Pac-12 presidents and chancellors meeting set for tomorrow.

RELATED STORIES: 2020 college football season in flux; New 2020 SEC schedule: delayed season start, conference-only games; Big Ten cuts nonconference games from 2020 football season; Could 2020 college football season be delayed to spring 2021?; More schools announce in-person fall semesters as planning for NCAA football season continues; Surprise: We may see NCAA football this fallEmmert: Colleges need to open before NCAA sports resumeTrump: 2020 NFL season should start in September

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