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Buffalo, NY | Local News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | WGRZ.com

UB, MAC reverse course, decide to play college football this fall

UB and the Mid-American Conference had announced August 8 that it was postponing fall sports to the spring of 2021.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — There will be a college football season for the University at Buffalo after all.

UB and the Mid-American Conference had announced August 8 that it was postponing fall sports to the spring of 2021, but on Friday, they reversed course and said they're willing to give football a try during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The MAC made the announcement Friday evening on Twitter, where they indicated the first games would be November 4.

According to the MAC plan, student-athletes will begin on-campus antigen testing on October 5 and will be tested four times per week. In addition, the plan includes well-defined reclamation protocol for student-athletes who test positive as it pertains to cardiac screening.

The MAC was the first league competing at the highest level of college football to cancel its fall season due to COVID-19, adding that MAC schools rely heavily on revenue from playing road games against power conference teams.

Other conferences, such as the Big Ten and Pac-12, soon followed. But in recent weeks, they changed their minds and decided to play, citing more readily available testing and an increase in safety protocols.

The MAC's announcement makes it 10 out of 10 conferences that will play in the fall. University presidents in the Big Ten, Pac-12 and Mountain West have all decided to play this fall after all instead of spring.

MAC games will start November 4m and the championship game will be played December 18 or 19.

Back in August, when announcing the cancellation of fall sports seasons, the MAC's announcement said in part, "The council of presidents unanimously voted to take this action with the health and safety of its student-athletes, coaches and communities as its top priority."

The conference said then that it intended to offer opportunities for fall athletes to compete in the spring semester of 2021.

Added UB football coach Lance Leipold at that time: "Once we find out how we move forward from here, I know we will continue to improve every day and continue to be the program we want to be and represent our university and our community in the right way."