The Mountain East Conference isn’t taking anything off the table in terms of playing fall sports, even if that means moving those sports — and possibly all sports — to the spring.
The MEC released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying it was “making every reasonable effort” to play sports in the 2020-21 season, if public health conditions, health guidelines and NCAA regulations allow. Earlier Wednesday, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference — like the MEC, an NCAA Division II league — announced it was suspending NCAA competition for fall 2020 and “fully intends” to play them in the spring if possible.
“The Mountain East Conference understands and respects the difficult decisions made by NCAA Division II conferences around the country to suspend fall sports,” the MEC’s statement read. “After many lengthy conversations and meetings of our own, we know that these decisions do not come lightly.”
The Mountain East, home to both the University of Charleston and West Virginia State University, said that among the options being discussed are extending fall sports into the spring and working on models that would allow all sports to be played in the spring semester.
The conference announced in June that the planned start date for football practice would be Aug. 17 with the rest of the sports starting practice starting Aug. 24. Non-conference play for football, men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball would be eliminated.
“We will continue to monitor public health conditions and work with local health officials to help inform and shape our decisions in meetings over the next week within our governance structure,” the statement continued. “We believe it is our obligation to our members and student-athletes to be thorough and deliberate as we explore all options for competition as soon and as safely as possible.”