The future of college football in 2020 has taken another hit with the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) announcing on Friday that it will be suspending all fall sports due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Middle Atlantic Conference competes in the NCAA’s Division III.
The conference sponsors teams in 27 sports — 14 men’s and 13 women’s.
“This decision was very difficult, as we know how deep the love of the game is for our student-athletes and that intercollegiate events are an important part of campus life for our entire community,” said Dr. Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Chair of MAC President’s Council and Hood College President, in a statement.
“However, we are confident that our coaches and athletic staff will work with the students to build an engaging athletic experience for our student-athletes while mitigating the risk of COVID-19.”
The MAC has 18 members: Albright College (Reading, Pa.), Alvernia University (Reading, Pa.), Arcadia University (Glenside, Pa.), Delaware Valley University (Doylestown, Pa.), DeSales University (Center Valley, Pa.), Eastern University (St. Davids, Pa.), Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham Campus (Madison, N.J.), Hood College (Frederick, Md.), King’s College (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.), Lebanon Valley College (Annville, Pa.), Lycoming College (Williamsport, Pa.), Messiah University (Mechanicsburg, Pa.), Misericordia University (Dallas, Pa.), Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, N.J.), Stevenson University (Owings Mills, Md.), Widener University (Chester, Pa.) and Wilkes University (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.), and York College of Pennsylvania (York, Pa.).
The coronavirus outbreak has led to the cancellation or postponing of many large events including the NCAA Tournament, Coachella, SXSW, the Winter X Games, Stagecoach, Ultra Music Festival in Miami, and more. The NBA, NHL, and MLS temporarily suspended their seasons.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 134,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.