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WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

No MAC or Big Ten Football This Fall

Picture of Akron Zips Football game.
MAC Schools such as the University of Akron won't be playing football or any fall sports until at least the spring of 2021.

For months, college football adminstrators and universities expressed cautious optimism on their ability to play safely in the coranaviris pandemic.

However, two conferences have decided that they won't be playing this fall. On Saturday, the Mid American Conference announced it would postpone the fall sports season until spring 2021. This followed earlier news of FBS independent UConn canceling its football season last week.

Kent State University is among the MAC schools impacted by the decision. University spokesperson Eric Mansfield released a statement supporting the conference's decision.  

"Given the information we have today regarding the spread of the virus and after careful consideration of the health and safety of our student-athletes and staff, we are not confident a safe environment can be created for athletic competition in accordance with our rigorous reopening standards," Mansfield stated. 

"The risks associated with athletic competition, such as close contact with other student-athletes and travel requirements, present greater challenges to maintaining safety standards than daily campus activities. We understand this decision is heartbreaking for our student-athletes, coaches and trainers who work tirelessly to represent Kent State with excellence, as well as our alumni and fans whose support for our Golden Flashes is unwavering." Mansfield indicated a decision on winter sports would be made later as developments involving the coronavirus continue to unfold.  

The MAC wasn't the only conference to postpone play. Tuesday afternoon, the Big Ten Conference voted to postpone its fall sports season to the spring as well, a move that could have larger implications than the MAC's cancellation. 

The Big Ten's move comes after releasing an all conference slate of games last month along with the other Power Five conferences in the SEC, ACC, Big 12 and PAC 12. 

Sean Fitzgerald is an announcer/board operator at Ideastream Public Media.