The Mid-American Conference is First to Cancel Football Season
By: April Feng
The Mid-American Conference has announced their cancellation of the football season this upcoming fall due to concerns about the current coronavirus pandemic. They are the first to come to this decision in the top-tier Football Bowl Subdivision.
College football typically serves as a major money maker for most college athletic departments, says NPR. Thus, this new announcement of cancellation will also carry heavy financial implications for the future.
“I'm heartbroken we are in this place,” Mid-American Conference commissioner Jon Steinbrecher explains, “[but] this was a decision based on the guidance of our health experts. This isn’t a financial decision. It’s a health and well-being decision.”
The N.C.A.A. first announced the cancellation of their basketball tournaments in early March. However, college football still had time to design a plan to combat safety issues. But as the pandemic gradually worsened and cases began to rise exponentially, colleges began to abandon the prospect of continuing to play.
This Wednesday, the N.C.A.A. announced the decision to cancel both Division II and Division III 2020 fall championships to “[prioritize] the health and well-being of student-athletes.”
Then, on Thursday, the N.C.A.A. officially cancelled all Division I 2020 fall championships as well. N.C.A.A. President Mark Emmert explained, “We cannot, at this point, have fall N.C.A.A. championships.”
While the N.C.A.A.’s decisions will not impact College Football Playoffs, many college football conferences have already made the decisions to postpone their seasons, with Big Ten and Pac-12 being the first marquee conferences to do so. The Big Ten explained their decision to not play as scheduled “due to ongoing health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Their decision impacted the Mid-American Conference as well. With a lack of non-conference games, millions of dollars in revenue were lost for schools part of the MAC. According to Bob Moosbrugger, Bowling Green athletic director, his school “lost $2.2 million from its $24 million athletic budget when games against Ohio State and Illinois evaporated.”