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MEAC won't have fall sports season


Stats Perform FCS Senior Editor

(Stats Perform) - The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference announced Thursday it will not have a fall sports season due to concerns over the global COVID-19 pandemic, becoming the third of 13 FCS conferences to make such a decision.

The MEAC, composed of historically black colleges and universities along the eastern seaboard, was set to celebrate it 50th season this year. The MEAC's council of presidents and chancellors, though, decided their conference would follow the Ivy and Patriot leagues as Division I conferences to pull the plug on fall competition as well as two other HBCU conferences in Division II - the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association and Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

A decision to potentially shift fall sports to the 2021 spring semester will be made at a later date, the MEAC said. Winter sports season will proceed as planned.

"Obviously this is an arduous decision because everyone wants to have a fall season for student-athletes, fans and others," MEAC commissioner Dr. Dennis Thomas said. "Part of our responsibility is to ensure the mental and physical health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff is paramount. It is imperative that everyone recognize that is our first and foremost responsibility."

Nine MEAC schools sponsor football, but three of them - defending champion North Carolina A&T, Bethune Cookman and Florida A&M - are leaving the conference next July. The other football members are Delaware State, Howard, Morgan State, Norfolk State, North Carolina Central and South Carolina State.

Among the games canceled this season were the high-profile MEAC-SWAC Challenge and Celebration Bowl against teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference, the other HBCU conference in the FCS.

Updated July 16, 2020

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