CLEVELAND, Ohio As a result of the financial crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and disruption to the economy, the Mid-American Conference (MAC) established a working group to explore efficiencies in sports operations across its 24 sponsored sports. The focus was on reducing costs in alignment with institutional mandates, consistent with institutional priorities and principles of equity and diversity.
Every student-athlete will compete for a conference championship and earn an opportunity for participation in NCAA postseason competition. MAC member institutions will continue to operate consistent with NCAA Division I FBS regulations.
The plan covers four years and will be evaluated as the economic situation stabilizes and improves. The changes affect scheduling formats, post-season championship formats, and the elimination of post-season championships in select sports. Additionally, reductions will be made in championship operational expenditures.
Conference champions will be determined by the regular season in the following sports -- field hockey, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, women’s lacrosse, softball and baseball. There will be alternations 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 MAC eliminated the opening round campus-site games for the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments and will play 20-game conference schedules beginning with the 2020-21 academic year. Baseball and softball will move to 30-game regular-season schedules.