Source: UB / Paul Hokanson.
The Mid-American Conference voted today to resume the 2020 fall football season, culminating in a six-game schedule beginning on November 4. This announcement comes days after reports that the MAC presidents would vote today to resume the season.
The Mid-American Conference was the first Football Bowl Subdivision conference to halt play due to the COVID-19 pandemic on August 8. Since then, the Big Ten and Pac-12 voted to postpone fall play, only to resume it a month later, while the Southeastern Conference, Big 12, and Athletic Coast Conference did not postpone football altogether.
The voting by university presidents had the blessing of the MAC Medical Advisory Panel. Council of Presidents Chair and University at Buffalo President Dr. Satish Tripathi stated that student-athletes’ health and safety was “paramount.” Thus, the MAC will implement a testing program requiring four tests a week. A positive tester will enter a cardiac screening protocol, that may include an electrocardiogram (EKG), echocardiogram, cardiac MRI, and blood work. The University at Buffalo is committed to expanding its mandatory student-athlete cardiac tests beyond a baseline EKG due to COVID-19.
The MAC also announced that fans and tailgating are prohibited this season. Additionally, none of the other fall sports will return with football. The NCAA canceled all fall championships on August 13. However, since the NCAA does not determine the champion of Football Bowl Subdivision play, conferences and the College Football Playoff were responsible for determining play.
The next step is obtaining local approval from state, county, and municipal governments. The University at Buffalo is currently awaiting New York State Department of Health approval.