2021 MAC Championships Cut Across Olympic Sports

The Mid-American Conference announced changes across most of its sponsored sports’ postseasons.

Author’s note: This story has been edited since it was originally published. This story was first published with the knowledge of Jordan Strack’s breaking news report.

The Mid-American Conference will cut postseasons and championships across eight Olympic sports, beginning next year. The news was first reported by Jordan Strack.

From Tuesday evening’s press release:

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.

Beginning with the 2020–21 academic year, these eight MAC sports will not have league tournaments, and will instead have their sports’ champion decided by regular-season success:

  • Baseball (Men’s)
  • Field Hockey (Women’s)
  • Lacrosse (W)
  • Soccer (M/W)
  • Softball (W)
  • Tennis (M/W)

These MAC sports will also see reductions in participating teams and participation length in their respective sports championship events:

  • Basketball, 8 teams (M/W)
  • Volleyball, 4 teams (W)
  • Swim & Dive, 3 days (M/W)
  • Cross Country, 2 days (M/W)
  • Track & Field, 2 days (M/W)
  • Golf, 2 days (M/W)

The MAC also stated that there will be no more campus-site games to open up the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments beginning next season, and teams will play 20-game MAC schedules instead of 18.

Strack’s report, which was confirmed with Steinbrecher, included that the MAC would get rid of its divisions for basketball too, but that detail was not included in the MAC’s press release.

Baseball and softball teams will have 30-game regular-season schedules now too.

These MAC-sponsored sports were not mentioned in the MAC’s press release:

  • Football (M)
  • Gymnastics (W)
  • Wrestling (M)

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