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MAC decision means York College fall sports contests delayed until at least Sept. 18

STEVE HEISER
717-505-5446/@ydsports
  • York College officially became a Middle Atlantic Conference member on July 1.
  • The MAC won't play any fall sports events before Sept. 18.
  • Also, the MAC will only hold conference contests this fall.
  • The MAC made the moves in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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York College's first season as a member of the Middle Atlantic Conference will get off to a delayed start.

The Spartans, after nearly three decades as a member of the Capital Athletic Conference, officially became a MAC member on July 1. They were scheduled to begin MAC play in early September. 

Now, however, York won't start MAC competition before mid-September.

The MAC President’s Council met on Thursday and later announced that the conference still plans to pursue fall sports, but it has decided to play only conference contests this fall. Also, no MAC teams will hold any competitions before Sept. 18.

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The goal of the revised schedule, according to the statement, is reaching NCAA Division III qualifying minimums in all sports for MAC member institutions.

The announcement was made in response to a spike in COVID-19 cases in the mid-Atlantic region where the MAC schools are located.

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York College issued a statement that read, in part: "With the health and well-being of our students, coaches, staff, and campus community at the forefront of our mission, we will continue to monitor COVID-19 risks as we prepare for the fall semester. Our Spartans will compete so long as the ability to do so aligns with the standards of safety established for the entirety of the College. As warranted, we will update our position throughout the summer."

The MAC is an NCAA D-III conference that is split into the MAC Commonwealth and MAC Freedom. York is scheduled to be a Commonwealth member.

The 18 member institutions in the MAC are: Albright College (Reading), Alvernia University (Reading), Arcadia University (Glenside), Delaware Valley University (Doylestown), DeSales University (Center Valley), Eastern University (St. Davids), Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham Campus (Madison, N.J.), Hood College (Frederick, Md.), King’s College (Wilkes-Barre), Lebanon Valley College (Annville), Lycoming College (Williamsport), Messiah University (Mechanicsburg), Misericordia University (Dallas), Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, N.J.), Stevenson University (Owings Mills, Md.), Widener University (Chester) and Wilkes University (Wilkes-Barre), and York College of Pennsylvania (York).

The other schools in the Commonwealth with York are:  Alvernia, Arcadia, Hood, Widener, Stevenson, Albright, Messiah, Lycoming and Lebanon Valley.

In seismic decision, Big Ten says it will limit football, fall sports to conference games

The MAC decision comes days after the Centennial Conference suspended its fall season to the end of September, with the possibility of moving some sports to the spring, and the Big Ten Conference announced Thursday it will not play nonconference games in football and several other sports in the fall. Wednesday, the Ivy League became the first NCAA Division I conference to cancel its fall sports season.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.