Release courtesy of www.mascac.com
WESTFIELD, Mass. – The NCAA has released winter sport guidelines and the state of Massachusetts recently updated their winter sport policies. After an in-depth review of the information from the state and NCAA, consultation among the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Presidents, athletic directors, and athletic trainers and after exhausting all possibilities, including a review of the risks involved, the eight MASCAC Presidents have made the difficult decision to cancel all winter sports competition. This includes the sports of men's and women's basketball, men's ice hockey and men's and women's indoor track and field.
Similar to the fall sports, the state universities are planning to provide winter sport studentathletes with on-campus, in-person practices, conditioning and training opportunities throughout their traditional season to support their physical and mental well-being. These practice and training opportunities will not use a year of NCAA Eligibility and will be done in compliance with the campus, state, federal and NCAA COVID guidance and protocols.
"The MASCAC Presidents have been continuously observing the pandemic and guidelines from local, state, federal and NCAA officials which has led us to the decision to cancel winter sports competition during the spring semester," said Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts President James Birge, Chair of the MASCAC Council of Presidents.
Affiliates will be able to schedule nonconference contests at their discretion.
"We explored countless scenarios to find a safe path forward with the evolving recommendations and policies from the NCAA and the state for our winter sport student-athletes," said MASCAC Commissioner Angela Baumann. "After consultation with our medical staff and athletic directors, the MASCAC Presidents came to the conclusion there is not a way to ensure the safety of our student-athletes and staff with off campus winter competition, the risks are far too great."
Throughout the 2020-21 academic year, the MASCAC will be celebrating its 50th anniversary with special features, facts and trivia commemorating the event. Our conference has a rich history of success on the playing field and in the classroom. Over the academic year, the conference will be highlighting the student-athletes, teams, coaches, and administrators from the last 50 years.
President James F. Birge, MCLA, Council of Presidents Chair
President Fred Clark, Bridgewater State University
President Richard S. Lapidus, Fitchburg State University
President F. Javier Cevallos, Framingham State University
Admiral Francis X. McDonald, Massachusetts Maritime Academy
President John D. Keenan, Salem State University
Interim President Roy H. Saigo, Westfield State University
President Barry Maloney, Worcester State University
Angela Baumann, MASCAC Commissioner
The Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference, the nation's oldest Division III men's and women's playing conference, has a rich and storied tradition of competitive success while celebrating excellence in the classroom. MASCAC member schools include Bridgewater State University, Fitchburg State University, Framingham State University, MCLA, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Salem State University, Westfield State University and Worcester State University. Two other institutions, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Plymouth State University, are affiliate members of the conference in the sports of football and men's ice hockey, while Western Connecticut State University joined the conference as a football affiliate member in 2013. Dean College, Eastern Nazarene College, Elms College, Mitchell College and Springfield College joined as men's golf affiliates in 2019.