The Minnesota College Athletic Conference (MCAC), which includes M State and North Dakota State College of Science, has canceled its 2020 fall contact sports season.

“As a longtime M State Spartan fan, I understand how much athletics and student athletes have been a part of the student experience and tradition of education at M State Fergus Falls,” M State President Carrie Brimhall said. “While I am saddened by the decision because I know how much it impacts our student athletes, families, fans, coaches and employees, I also believe it was the only decision to make at this juncture based on the information available. The safety and well-being of our students and coaches has to be our highest priority. If we cannot provide the full student experience and level of competition our students deserve, we do not believe it should be presented as such. The M State value of integrity states: “As dedicated professionals, we act with purpose in everything we do. We are sincere and honest in our relationships and communications, and hold ourselves accountable to doing the right thing even when no one is watching.” The decision was difficult, but we believe it aligns with our values.” 

“We are disappointed that our 2020 football season has been canceled; however, we recognize this was a difficult decision for the MCAC,” NDSCS athletics director Stu Engen said. “We are committed to supporting our student athletes as they navigate the impacts this will have, and we look forward to the return of Wildcat football in 2021.”

The cancellation applies to football, soccer and volleyball games, practices, training or conditioning. NDSCS was a member of the MCAC for its football and clay target teams. The NDSCS clay target team also competes under the MCAC; however, that sport has been identified by the conference as low-risk and will continue this fall. The NDSCS volleyball team is a member of the Mon-Dak Conference, and is not directly impacted by today’s MCAC announcement. 

Non-contact sports such as clay shooting and golf will be allowed.

The MCAC has 24 member schools.

The press release reads:

The Minnesota State presidents of the member colleges of the MCAC met to determine how to move forward with intercollegiate athletics for fall semester in light of COVID-19. The presidents reaffirmed the commitment to protecting the health of student athletes.

In consideration of the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Minnesota Department of Health, fall sports will be limited to those that have been identified as low-risk, clay target and golf. Seasons have been canceled for football, volleyball, and soccer. For basketball, baseball, softball and wrestling, in which practice and competition spans fall and spring semesters, all organized physical activities are prohibited during the fall semester. Discussions about the potential for spring seasons for these sports are continuing and guidance will be provided in the near future.

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