The Mid-American Conference (MAC) has announced its plans to play football this fall.
The conference’s Council of Presidents voted unanimously to resume play this fall after other conferences, like the Big Ten and Pac-12, voted to return to play after previously postponing until the spring.
The MAC will play a six-game season, starting Wednesday, Nov. 4. The conference championship game will be played on Dec. 18 or 19. All other fall sports are still scheduled to be played in the spring.
There will be stricter protocols, including four antigen tests per week. Because of the increased risk of myocarditis with COVID-19, anyone with a positive test will also undergo a cardiac screening protocol. Access to rapid testing played a key role in the decision to return to play.
“Our decisions, in August and again today, have been guided by an overriding concern for the well-being of the student athletes, institutions, and the community at large,” MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said.
The football season was originally postponed Aug. 8.
The conference is still putting together additional protocols, including cancellation protocols and guidelines for marching bands, dance, cheer and spirit squads. Public attendance and tailgating will not be allowed.
A full schedule for Miami will be released at a later date. The RedHawks are set to defend their conference championship, returning most of their starters.
A few key contributors from last year’s team declared for the 2021 NFL Draft last month after the original decision to postpone the season, including Emmanuel Rugamba, Danny Godlevske and Tommy Doyle. The conference’s decision to return may cause them to consider playing for the RedHawks this fall, a decision we’ve seen from other star players in returning leagues.
After the announcement, the MAC’s twitter account released a statement.
“MACtion is Back.”