Proposal calls for a May 1, 2021 football championship game.
NORFOLK, Va., Aug. 19, 2020 – The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) has unveiled a scheduling model for fall sports to be played in the spring 2021 semester, depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and the NCAA scheduling guidelines for fall championships being played in the spring.
This action follows the conference’s announcement in July that the fall season would be suspended.
Football season next spring will see teams play a slate of six regional conference games, with teams split into divisions, that would span from Feb. 27 through April 24, with a championship game set for May 1.
Volleyball season in the spring semester will span from the first weekend of January through February, with the MEAC Volleyball Championship being held the weekend of March 13-14 in Norfolk, Va. The volleyball championship game will be played on Sunday, March 14. These dates are tentative and subject to change. Teams schedules will be available at a later date.
“I appreciate the MEAC’s forward thinking and empathy expressed in the plan for transitioning fall sports to spring 2021,” said President Larry Robinson, Ph.D. “The plan gives member institutions time to prepare and the flexibility to make adjustments as needed to safeguard the health of our student athletes.”
A regional schedule will be implemented for men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s tennis, baseball and softball. In addition to keeping the mental and physical health and safety of student-athletes, coaches and staff at the forefront. This scheduling model will also minimize the amount of time student-athletes spend out of class and on the road as well as reduce travel expenses and eliminate air travel.
“We appreciate the MEAC for developing a comprehensive plan that would allow our student-athletes the opportunity to compete. COVID-19 has required our institutions to pivot and adjust to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes and respective campus communities,” said Vice President/Athletic Director Kortne Gosha. “We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates to our fans, donors, season ticketholders, and campus community as the situations and further schedules develop.”
The divisional breakdown will be as follows: Northern Division: Coppin State, Delaware State, Howard, Maryland Eastern Shore, Morgan State, Norfolk State.
Southern Division: Bethune-Cookman, Florida A&M, North Carolina A&T State, North Carolina Central, South Carolina State.
“As has been the case since this pandemic started in March, the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, university staff and fans are paramount,” MEAC Commissioner Dennis E. Thomas said. “I want to thank both the Forecasting Committee and the Health and Medical Advisory Group for their tireless efforts in formulating this plan.”
The MEAC Forecasting Committee, comprised of several of the conference’s Directors of Athletics and Senior Woman Administrators (SWAs), has been working since April – meeting twice a week to formulate a variety of plans for intercollegiate competition in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the Forecasting Committee has consulted with the MEAC Health and Medical Advisory Group, which is made up of the league’s team physicians and head athletics trainers. All options were considered, from a normal fall schedule to a modified fall schedule, a spring schedule and moving the fall sports to the spring.
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About the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) celebrates its 50th year of intercollegiate competition with the 2020-21 academic school year. Located in Norfolk, Va., the MEAC is made up of 11 outstanding historically black institutions across the Atlantic coastline: Bethune-Cookman University, Coppin State University, Delaware State University, Florida A&M University, Howard University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Morgan State University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University and South Carolina State University.