The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, which includes Siena among its 11 members, announced Monday its decision to cancel the league’s fall sports competition, citing continuing health and safety concerns surrounding the novel coronavirus pandemic.
According to a release from the conference announcing the move, a decision on whether fall sport competition would be feasible in the spring will be determined by the MAAC Council of Presidents at a later date.
“The fall sports impacted by the Council’s decision include men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, and men’s and women’s cross country and sports that conduct non-traditional season segments in the fall,” MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor said in a news release. “The MAAC Executive Committee will explore with the Committee on Athletic Administration (COAA) the goal of providing the student-athletes with a schedule of contests among conference members in the spring of 2021 in accordance with each institution’s procedures and applicable state regulations.
“It is the goal of the MAAC to ensure it recognizes a MAAC champion in each sport and it will review possible championship formats for the fall sports in accordance with evolving state and local regulations.”
The MAAC’s decision means that all Capital Region college programs will have their fall sports seasons either postponed to the spring or canceled outright.
According to the league’s release, MAAC student-athletes whose seasons have been canceled will still be permitted to train when they return to campus. Institutions will be responsible for implementing their own training guidelines in accordance with state and local COVID-19 regulations and guidance provided by the NCAA.
“The decision to cancel fall sports was made with student-athletes being top of mind,” Ensor said. “It is difficult to put into words how I feel for all of the student athletes, coaches, and administrators who put in so much work on a daily basis. Health and safety protocols have been of the utmost priority the last several months, but unfortunately, there are too many factors that prohibit the MAAC and its institutions from safely delivering a competitive atmosphere that these individuals deserve.”