Middle Atlantic Conference moves forward with basketball seasons, but without York College

York College men's basketball player Logan Collins, left, takes the ball to the hoop in a file photo from Feb. 26, 2020. The Spartans were scheduled to compete in their first Middle Atlantic Conference athletic season in 2020-2021. Those plans have been derailed by the pandemic. The MAC has announced it will move forward with shortened and delayed basketball seasons starting Feb. 11. York, however, has opted not to compete in those seasons.

The Middle Atlantic Conference will have shortened and delayed men’s and women’s basketball seasons in 2021.

The league, however, will move forward with those seasons without its newest member.

York College had earlier announced that it would not permit its basketball programs to compete this winter because of health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Spartans officially joined the MAC on July 1, but they have yet to compete in a MAC event because of the pandemic. York had previously belonged to the Capital Athletic Conference for nearly three decades.

Tuesday, the MAC announced that it will return to basketball competition on Thursday, Feb. 11. A total of 14 women’s teams and 13 men’s teams have opted-in to a five-week regular season with a championship week to conclude play.

The MAC is breaking from neighboring conferences such as the Centennial Conference and the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, which have opted not to hold winter sports seasons. 

MAC basketball will feature schedules that feature two games per week on Thursdays and Fridays for five weeks from Feb.11 until March 12. The week of March 15-21 has been designated for a championship week, however the format is to be determined and will be evaluated during the regular-season.

The MAC Commonwealth teams competing men’s and women’s basketball are: Albright, Alvernia, Eastern, Lebanon Valley, Messiah, Stevenson and Widener. The MAC Freedom teams competing in men’s and women’s basketball are: Arcadia, Delaware Valley, DeSales, Fairleigh Dickinson-Florham, Lycoming and Wilkes. Alvernia, however, has opted out of the first two weeks of both seasons. Misericordia will compete in women’s basketball, but not men’s basketball.            

York, when it does eventually compete, is scheduled to be a Commonwealth member. Other MAC schools opting out of the basketball seasons are Hood, King’s and Stevens Institute of Technology.

York was coming off a strong basketball seasons in CAC action in 2019-2020, compiling records of 23-6 in men's basketball and 17-11 in women's basketball.

The MAC had previously announced it will not coordinate conference seasons or championship events in men’s and women’s indoor track and field and wrestling.

The MAC swimming season is slated to start in early March, potentially culminating with a MAC Championship in mid-April. York has not yet opted out of the swimming season.

Neither MAC, nor York, has not yet made a decision about spring sports.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.