|Photo Jeff Brown Purple Walrus Press.|
By Editor in Chief & Publisher Jeff Brown.
According to an August 8 press release from Eastern Michigan University, EMU, in coordination with the unanimous decision made by the Mid-American Council of Presidents, has made the tremendously difficult decision to postpone all athletic contests for the fall of 2020. According to Saturday's press release, contests and championships will be postponed until spring 2021. The health and safety of student athletes, coaches and staff is number one reason for the postponement.
Fall competition in football, cross country soccer and volleyball, golf, tennis and, "Sports in their non-traditional segment, such as baseball." will be postponed.
According to EMU President Dr. James Smith, "The health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff has been our top priority in all actions related to the return to campus this fall. Unlike classroom, residence hall, and campus settings, the field of competition rarely allows for safe physical distancing and may complicate the use of masks or face coverings. These factors create a deep concern for student-athlete health and safety in the current pandemic. Over the past few weeks, we have heard clearly from our state's health and medical experts indicating that this postponement was the only safe path forward. I know this news affects many of you deeply, and please know that I share in your disappointment."
According to EMU, sports such as swimming & diving, gymnastics, indoor track & field and men's and women's basketball are not affected by the decision made by the Mid-American Conference.
According EMU Vice President/Director of Athletics Scot Wetherbee, "This is not the outcome anyone would have hoped for, but it is the right one. The health and welfare of our student-athletes, their families, our staff and our fans has to guide all decisions made in regards to competing in intercollegiate athletics. Moving the fall season to the spring hopefully affords our league institutions more time to prepare and fine tune our health and safety precautions. Our department will remain focused on ensuring the safest experience possible, as we pivot to provide training and development opportunities. As is always the case, Eastern Michigan Athletics will fully support our student-athletes through this challenging time in their athletic and academic pursuits."
Below see statement from Mid-American Conference Commissioner, Dr. Jon Steinbrecher regarding postponement of Mid-American Conference fall athletic contests.