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Mountain East Conference winter sports won’t get going until New Year’s Day at the very earliest. The MEC announced Friday that those sports — men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s indoor track and field and wrestling — will start no earlier than Jan. 1.

“We are disappointed to delay the start of winter sports, largely due to the challenges with acquiring the needed volume of testing supplies,” MEC Commissioner Reid Amos said in an emailed statement, “but we are committed to pursuing every route available that will allow those student-athletes to have a meaningful season, retain a year of eligibility and still compete for conference and national championships.”

The MEC joins most of NCAA Division II in delaying the start of their winter sports until January.

“We strongly believe that student-athletes in winter sports deserve the same eligibility relief that has already been afforded to fall and spring student-athletes, principally due to the loss of their national championship events last year and that the experience for all winter sport student-athletes will be significantly compromised by the effects of the pandemic.”