Fall 2020 Athletics Update
The Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) announced on Friday that it intends to pursue fall athletics competition.
The seventh ranked team in Division III football heading into the 2020 season, along with Delaware Valley University’s eight other varsity NCAA teams, learned late last week that they still have a chance to compete this coming season.
The Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) announced on Friday that it intends to pursue fall athletics competition. The league’s President’s Council determined that competition will be limited MAC institutional members beginning no earlier than Sept. 18, and with the goal of reaching NCAA minimums in all sports.
In late May, the NCAA reduced the minimum contests needed for championship selection in each sport by 33 percent to help programs that may have a hard time scheduling games due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For football, this means they need to play at least five games to be able to participate in the NCAA Playoffs. Field hockey will need to compete in eight while both men’s and women’s soccer aim for nine games and women’s volleyball, 11. The intention for the conference is to play at least the minimum, but the goal is to give the student-athletes the best experience while maintaining safety as a top priority for all parties involved.
“We appreciate the support of the MAC presidents in continuing to move forward with a return to play initiative for the fall,” said DelVal Director of Athletics Dave Duda. “There have been many long days of planning, both internally and externally, to try to put the safest best practice measures in place for our students and staff. I know how important the student-athlete experience is to our team members and coaching staff, but health and safety will always be paramount as we continue to create the plans for bringing our student-athletes back to campus.”
Last season, head football coach Duke Greco and the Aggies went 8-0 in the MAC and finished the season 11-2 overall as they earned their third consecutive conference championship and advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the fourth time in program history and the second time in three years. Sophomore defensive end Michael Nobile was named the MAC and the East Region’s Defensive Player of the Year and Greco was crowned the Coach of the Year by the league. The squad enters this season ranked No. 7 in the country in Division III by Street and Smith.
“We are extremely excited and grateful for the chance to compete this fall,” Greco said. “I appreciate the support and opportunity that Dr. Gallo, her administration, and the entire community have given our program. We know that the safety of our players and the community is what’s most important and I think our athletes are going to be leaders on campus in following the guidelines and doing what’s asked of us.”
The nine fall programs slated to begin competition for the Aggies in the fall include football, field hockey, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball. The next step for these programs is awaiting the release of the schedules from the MAC and moving onto campus to begin preseason camp in August.
For the 18 member institutions of the MAC, their main focus now is prioritizing safety and formulating plans to bring everyone back to competition on campus.
"It is paramount that each campus prioritizes the health of its entire campus community," said Megan Morrison, MAC executive director. "I am hopeful that with carefully crafted resocialization plans, athletics, as an integral piece in the co-curricular experience for so many student-athletes and campuses, may be able to happen this fall."
The fall semester at DelVal is slated to begin on Aug. 24 with student-athletes moving in early to begin preseason activities. All student-athletes will be notified of the University’s Blueprint for Fall 2020 and the DelVal Athletics Return to Play Plan prior to arriving for preseason training.