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York College's first Middle Atlantic Conference action delayed until at least mid-February

STEVE HEISER
717-505-5446/@ydsports
York College men's basketball head coach Matt Hunter and his team are shown last February. Hunter led the Spartans to a 23-6 record and a Capital Athletic Conference title. The Spartans, who are now in their first season in the Middle Atlantic Conference, won't play any men's basketball games before mid-February of 2021, at the earliest, because of the coronavirus pandemic. The MAC made that decision on Wednesday.
  • York College officially joined the Middle Atlantic Conference on July 1.
  • Because of the coronavirus pandemic, however, the Spartans have yet to play an official MAC event.
  • York will not play any MAC athletic events before mid-February, at the earliest.

York College athletes will have to wait a little longer to start their first season in the Middle Atlantic Conference.

The Spartans were scheduled to begin their first season of MAC competition this past fall after nearly three decades as a member of the Capital Athletic Conference. York officially joined the conference on July 1.

The cornonavirus pandemic, however, had other plans. The MAC decided not to hold any fall sports. At that time, the MAC said it would explore the possibility of shifting the fall athletic seasons to the spring.

Now, the conference has significantly delayed its winter sports schedule, which typically begins in late November.

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The MAC presidents met this week and, in a statement on Wednesday, affirmed their support for moving forward with tentative plans for winter sports "in a manner that prioritizes the health and well-being of student-athletes, coaches, campuses and local communities."

The tentative MAC plan is for men's and women's basketball to start a conference-only season no earlier than mid-February, with a five-to-six-week schedule and the possibility of a conference championship. The swimming season is slated to start in early March, potentially culminating with a MAC Championship in mid-April.

York College logo

The 2021 MAC Indoor Track & Field Championships and the 2021 MAC Wrestling Championship have been canceled. However, the conference presidents supported institutional autonomy for indoor track & field and wrestling, allowing each institution to schedule outside competition at its discretion.

York is coming off a strong winter season in CAC action in 2019-2020, compiling records of 23-6 in men's basketball, 17-11 in women's basketball, 8-2 in men's swimming, 8-2 in women's swimming and 8-9 in wrestling, good for an overall mark of 64-30. The men's basketball team won a CAC title.

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"We continue to be hopeful that circumstances will allow intercollegiate competition to resume for MAC institutions in 2021," said Megan Morrison, the MAC executive director, in a news release. "While we remain hopeful, we simultaneously share in the disappointment that our athletics communities feel in having championships canceled and seasons cut short."

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.

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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.