TAYLOR COUNTY—Following last week’s announcement from the NCAA Board of Governors regarding the cancellation of 2020 NCAA Division II Fall Championships due to the current pandemic, the Mountain East Conference (MEC) Board of Directors announced the postponement of fall sports until the spring semester.
The board also approved a revised schedule model for fall sports that will be moved to the spring of 2021. Those sports include football, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country, and men’s and women’s soccer. The new model will also include conference championships without participants having to deplete a year of eligibility by utilizing legislative relief provided to NCAA Division II institutions for the 2020-21 season.
In addition, the board approved several other recommendations from the league’s Committee of Athletics Administrators which include the following:
Suspend competition for winter sports until no earlier than November 1st, 2020.
Suspend all competition in all sports indefinitely, with a MEC board review no later than October 15th, 2020.
Suspend the Indoor Track and Field Championship for the 2020-21 season.
All countable athletically related activities (CARA), excluding the restrictions regarding outside competition, for all MEC sports are permissible (as allowed under NCAA rules and Board of Governors requirements) at the discretion of each MEC member institution.
The Mountain East has traditionally conducted its men’s and women’s golf conference championship in the fall, but since the sport is classified by the NCAA as a spring sport, it will have a delayed conference championship in addition to any NCAA postseason opportunities in the spring semester.
“I pledged to our board, administrators, athletics staffs, and most importantly to our student-athletes that we would exhaust every opportunity to stage competition this fall, and I am confident that is collectively what we have done within the MEC,” said MEC Commissioner Reid Amos. “Present public health challenges, combined with the new mandates put forth by the NCAA last week, create too great of a challenge on too short of a timeline to be able to conduct meaningful competition for our fall sports.”
Originally, the MEC had planned to split the fall sports after a delayed start and then crown conference champions in the spring after finishing their respective seasons.
Now, all 21 of the MEC championships for the 2020-21 school year will be crowned after the students return from the holiday break.
“We are tremendously disappointed for our student-athletes, and we recognize the gravity that comes with these decisions,” added Amos. “We now turn our efforts to keeping our student-athletes engaged with their coaches and teammates this fall, continuing to develop our return to play protocols, creating new schedules for delayed sports, and preparing for our 21 championship events now slated for the winter and spring. We will continue our commitment to providing a meaningful athletics experience for all of our student-athletes and crowning MEC champions during the 2020-21 academic year.”