ATHENS — Ohio University’s 2020 football season (and home) opener has been canceled as it’s planned opponent will not play fall sports this year.
“Earlier today (Thursday), I spoke with North Carolina Central University Director of Athletics Dr. Ingrid Wicker McCree, who notified us that the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference would be suspending sports competition for the fall 2020 season. As a result of the MEAC’s decision, our 2020 football season opener against North Carolina Central on September 5 will not be played as previously scheduled. I appreciate the outreach from Dr. Wicker McCree, and we agreed to continue discussions regarding future scheduling,” stated Ohio University Director of Atheletics Julie Cromer.
The current football schedule has the team opening on Sept. 12 at Boston College before hosting Marshall on Sept. 19.
The announcement came on the same day that the Mid-American Conference, of which Ohio University is a member, announced it is delaying the start of the fall sports season for “Olympic sports”.
A statement from the Mid-American Conference explained that “with all due caution for the health and well-being of the student-athletes, coaches and others involved, it will postpone the start of field hockey, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s cross country competition until September 3. The decision will provide additional time to prepare for the safe return to competition on an adjusted timeline.”
The statement from the MAC further explained that the decision aligns with other sports with football, allowing for all fall competitions to begin at the same time. The decision applies to exhibition and non-conference games. The decision on rescheduling will be up to the individual universities.
The conference will continue to follow the guidance of the Conference’s COVID-19 Medical Advisory Panel, Council of Presidents and the NCAA’s Resocialization of College Sports Guidelines as student-athletes prepare to engage in preseason training for a return to competition, added the statement from the conference. The MAC and its member institutions will continue to assess the latest developments related to COVID-19 in weighing the potential impact on fall schedules.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.