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York College will not have a fall sports season in 2020

Salisbury vs York College during field hockey action at York College of Pennsylvania in Spring Garden Township, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018. York College would fall to Salisbury 4-3. Dawn J. Sagert photo

York College will not have a fall athletic season in 2020.

That decision was made official on Friday when the Middle Atlantic Conference presidents announced the suspension all intercollegiate athletics competition through the fall 2020 semester in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

York officially became a member of the MAC on July 1 after spending nearly three decades as a member of the Capital Athletic Conference.

The MAC had previously announced that no fall sports competitions would be held before Sept. 18. Now, the MAC joins a number of other regional college conferences to cancel the fall sports seasons entirely.

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Paul Saikia

After the MAC announcement, York's administration likewise determined that it could not meet institutional health and safety standards while attempting to conduct intercollegiate athletics competition during the fall 2020 semester. 

"Regrettably, the cancellation of fall semester competition comes after exhausting all feasible options," said Paul Saikia in a statement. Saikia is York College's assistant dean for athletics and recreation. "York College and the MAC will continue to work, with the guidance of the NCAA, to program the most fulfilling student-athletic experience possible during this challenging time. Updates on competitive and practice opportunities for all intercollegiate sports are forthcoming."

The MAC will explore the possibility of shifting the fall athletic seasons to the spring.

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.

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

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.