Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press Published 12:06 p.m. ET May 15, 2020 | Updated 12:39 p.m. ET May 15, 2020
Detroit Free Press sports intern George Stoia asked the players at MAC media day in Detroit if they wanted a piece of the defending champion Alabama. Detroit Free Press
The Mid-American Conference is implementing additional changes to cut costs for universities and athletic departments due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
This time, football is impacted.
The MAC is no longer allowing home teams to stay in hotels the night before games and is trimming travel rosters for conference games from 76 players to 70, the conference announced Friday.
Mid-American Conference commissioner Jon Steinbrecher speaks to the media, Thursday, March 12, 2020, in Cleveland. The Mid-American Conference basketball tournament was cancelled Thursday, at an arena scheduled to be the site of NCAA men’s tournament games next week .(AP Photo/Tony Dejak) (Photo: The Associated Press)
As of now, these are the only changes being made to the 2020 football season, a source with knowledge of the situation told the Free Press.
Nearly every college football team stays at a local hotels the night before home games to provide a distraction-free environment. Players will now stay in their apartments or dorm rooms, the source said
The football cuts come three days after the MAC made changes to nine postseason tournaments while outright eliminating eight other tournaments, which include baseball, softball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s tennis, field hockey and women’s lacrosse. The regular season winners in those sports will advance to the NCAA tournament.
First-round home games in the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments have been slashed, meaning eight teams will play in the postseason rather than 12. Basketball divisions will be cut; conference schedules will expand from 18 games to 20.
Without a tournament, baseball’s conference schedule has increased from 24 to 30 games.
“There will be alterations in formats for nine other championships — volleyball (four-team), men’s basketball (eight-team), women’s basketball (eight-team), men’s swimming & diving (three-day), women’s swimming & diving (three-day), men’s indoor and outdoor track & field (two-day), women’s indoor and outdoor track & field (two-day), men’s golf (two-day) and women’s golf (two-day),” the conference statement on Tuesday said.
All adjustments begin in the 2020-21 academic year. The athletic savings plan is expected to be carried out for the next four years and will be evaluated as the economic impact of the coronavirus unfolds.
The MAC sponsors 12 universities throughout Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and New York as full-time members.
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