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NCAA encourages schools to not play sports on election day

The University at Buffalo football game at Northern Illinois is likely to change dates.
Credit: AP
Buffalo head coach Lance Leipold reacts to a call in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Penn State in State College, Pa., on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The NCAA is encouraging its 1,100 member colleges and universities to give athletes the day off from sports on election day.     

In response to nationwide protests of police brutality and racial injustice, Georgia Tech announced earlier this week it was giving nine fall sports teams a day off from athletic activities on November 3 so athletes can vote in person. UCLA followed with a similar announcement. 

The University at Buffalo is scheduled to play Northern Illinois that night so that is likely to change. The  Mid-American Conference announced Friday that it is working to reschedule that game. 

"The NCAA and its Board of Governors released a statement today relative to Tuesday, November 3, and athletic activities,” MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said in a statement Friday. “The Mid-American Conference has one game scheduled on that day – Buffalo at NIU. “The MAC, member schools and ESPN are now all working toward a new date for this game.” 

At other schools, coaches and players have organized team-wide voter registration efforts, marches and rallies.

The protest were sparked by the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes.

The NCAA did not mandate a day off for athletes on election day, but instead encouraged schools to assist students in registering to vote and give them a day off from athletics.

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