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NEC Delays Fall Sports

The Northeastern Conference announced on Thursday its intent to delay the start of the fall season until at least Sept. 10. There was no previous start date announced by the league, but there are typically games in fall sports that begin the end of August.

In light of the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Northeast Conference Council of Presidents also announced a series of shared guiding principles and recommendations as part of the NEC Fall Sports Return to Play Plan. These recommendations were developed in conjunction with NEC athletic administrators and the NEC COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee.

Overarching Guiding Principles for Resumption:

  • The health and safety of our campus and conference community is paramount
  • Decision-making around the resumption of athletics will be informed by campus policies; local, state and national governmental guidance/policies; and NEC and NCAA guidance/policies
  • Each athletics department must adhere to its campus policies and protocols

NEC Fall Sports Return to Play Recommendations:

  • A start date of September 10 has been set for both conference and non-conference competition; football programs are permitted to play non-conference games prior to September 10 as per institutional discretion
  • Associate members will defer to full member conference regulations
  • NEC institutions will confirm non-conference opponents have instituted similar health and safety protocols prior to competition
  • Overnight travel will be reduced when possible

“With the health and safety of our campus and athletic communities at the forefront, the NEC Presidents are utilizing a set of guiding principles to assist in their decision-making around the resumption of sports this fall,” said NEC Commissioner Noreen Morris. “With so many unknown factors at this point in time, the NEC has elected to delay the start of competition and take advantage of the extra time to continue to evaluate the local, regional and national landscape relative to COVID-19. The Presidents will reconvene in a few weeks to chart the course moving forward.”

Mike McMahon is in his 13th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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