By Keisha J Kelley
NORFOLK, Va.,Oct. 22, 2020 – The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) will be implementing an innovative scheduling model for several sports once the calendar flips over to 2021, including for football and men’s and women’s basketball.
In total, baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, football, softball, men’s and women’s tennis and volleyball will enact divisional play in an effort to minimize both travel time and time spent outside of class, reduce travel expenses and eliminate air travel.
“The mental and physical health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans must be at the forefront,” MEAC Commissioner Dennis E. Thomas said. “With that in mind, creative and innovative scheduling was required to accomplish our goals. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to restrict travel to regional competition. Hopefully, the type of schedule is for spring 2021 only.”
Football season is currently scheduled to start on Feb. 20, with the regular season ending on April 10. The Northern Division will consist of Delaware State, Howard, Morgan State and Norfolk State. Bethune-Cookman, Florida A&M, North Carolina A&T State, North Carolina Central and South Carolina State will make up the Southern Division.
Northern Division teams will face each other twice, while teams in the Southern Division will have two teams they play twice and two teams they play once. Each team will have two bye weeks. The MEAC Football Championship Game will be held Saturday, April 17.
A divisional format will also be adopted for men’s and women’s basketball, with each school playing 16 games over the course of nine weeks beginning Jan. 2, 2021. Conference games will be played on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays.
Coppin State, Delaware State, Howard, Maryland Eastern Shore, Morgan State and Norfolk State will make up the Northern Division, with Bethune-Cookman, Florida A&M, North Carolina A&T State, North Carolina Central and South Carolina State in the Southern Division.
In the Southern Division, teams will play each other four times, while Northern Division teams will face each other either three or four times in the regular season.
The MEAC Basketball Tournament is currently scheduled for March 8-13, 2021 in the Norfolk Scope Arena.
About the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) celebrates its 50th year of intercollegiate competition with the 2020-21 academic school year. Located in Norfolk, Va., the MEAC is made up of 11 outstanding historically black institutions across the Atlantic coastline: Bethune-Cookman University, Coppin State University, Delaware State University, Florida A&M University, Howard University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Morgan State University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University and South Carolina State University.