Add MEAC to the list of HBCU and FCS conferences that will not be entering the field this season.
The Council of Presidents and Chancellors of the Middle East Sports Conference has decided that it will not play football in 2020, sources told HBCU Gameday.
At least two MEAC schools, North Carolina A&T and Florida A&M, have had the COVID-19 test tested by student-athletes since their return to campus in July.
The move comes a week after the two HBCU Division II conferences, the CIAA and SIAC, announced their decision to end football competition for fall 2020. Other FCS conferences, including the ‘Ivy League and the Patriot League, will also be suspended in the fall of 2020. season.
This decision means no MEAC / SWAC challenge and no celebration bowl in 2020.
The conference was to kick off its 50th football season this year.
MEAC released the following statement Thursday afternoon, confirming the news.
NORFOLK, Va., July 16, 2020 – The Council of Presidents and Chancellors of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announces that the league will suspend all sports competitions, championships and non-championships, for the fall 2020 season, due to the continuous pandemic of COVID -19. A decision has not yet been made on whether the fall sports schedules will be moved to the spring semester 2021.
The conference is currently planning to conduct winter sports competitions as planned, unless advised by health professionals and physicians. We will notify the public of any subsequent decisions.
The Council of Presidents and Chancellors has taken this action for the safety and physical and mental health of our student athletes, coaches, administrators, support staff, teachers and fans. The rapid escalation of COVID-19 cases along the east coast strongly influenced the Board’s decision as the data suggests that African American and other minority communities are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. MEAC is committed to ensuring that the right measures are in place to reduce exposure to the virus.
“The health and safety of our student athletes continues to be our number one priority. We have made the decision to suspend all sports competitions after carefully considering the current conditions and taking into account the potential exposure that regular travel to competitions can cause and continued physical contact, “said the President of the University. Howard and Chairman of the Board of Presidents and Chancellors of the MEAC. , Dr. Wayne AI Frederick. “Although our competitions have been suspended, each member institution will plan the continuous engagement of all student-athletes to ensure the optimization of their physical and mental well-being while continuing their registration.”
“Obviously, this decision is difficult to make because everyone wants to have a fall season for student-athletes, fans and others,” said MEAC commissioner Dr. Dennis Thomas. “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 recognizes that this is our first and main responsibility. “
MEAC establishments will continue the student-athlete resocialization process, which includes mental and physical health counseling, a strength and conditioning protocol, and compliance with all COVID-19 security requirements.
Other updates will be made as needed.