Fall Sports Update: MASCAC cancels official Fall conference season
Courtesy of the MASCAC Office
WESTFIELD, Mass. – The Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) announced today that the eight MASCAC Presidents made the difficult decision to cancel the fall in spring semester athletic conference competition, including all indoor and outdoor athletic conference competition. The decision ends the possibility of resuming the fall conference competition during the spring of 2021 but will allow fall and winter student-athletes training opportunities. While there will not be a conference schedule for MASCAC fall sports, member institutions will be allowed to schedule fall sport nonconference games at their discretion.
"The MASCAC office has been meeting regularly with the presidents, athletic directors, athletic trainers and other essential staff to consider ways we can bring our student-athletes back to the playing field safely while adhering to all state, federal and NCAA guidelines," said MASCAC Commissioner Angela Baumann. "Regrettably, the highly contagious nature of the COVID-19 virus and the risk of community spread through conference competition proved too great a risk to our student-athletes to engage in conference play. With the health and well-being of our student-athletes and our staff as our priority, the difficult decision was made to cancel the fall in spring MASCAC competition," Baumann said.
Although fall MASCAC competition has been canceled, the state universities will continue to provide student-athletes with on-campus, in-person practices, conditioning and, training opportunities during the spring semester in order 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 campus, state and federal COVID guidance and protocols.
"The MASCAC Presidents know the value of intercollegiate athletics to our campus community and how important sports are to our student-athletes. The news that we need to cancel the fall conference competition is understandably disappointing, but the health and safety of our students and staff is of the upmost importance," said Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts President James Birge, Chair of the MASCAC Council of Presidents. "These are unprecedented times and making the difficult decision to cancel fall conference competition is equally unprecedented. We will continue to monitor the facts and re-evaluate the status of athletics as information and data evolves," said President Birge.
The MASCAC Presidents are hopeful that a spring sports season will occur and plan to announce their decision in February.
"We are disappointed conference competition couldn't be provided for our fall student-athletes in the spring," said MASCAC Commissioner Angela Baumann. "We are still creating plans to play the spring sports season and are hopeful we will be able to provide those student-athletes an athletic experience."
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, 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.