ORONO – The decision was announced Friday, in conjunction with announcements by UMaine’s football conference, the CAA, and its conference for its other fall sports, America East.
The Black Bears will not take the field in the fall for any official competition, this includes UMaine football, cross country, field hockey, and women’s soccer.
UMaine athletic director Ken Ralph said in a press conference Friday that, in spite of the CAa announcement allowing for its teams to field an independent schedule this fall if the NCAA sponsors an FCS national championship, the Black Bears will hold off until the spring conference slate.
Ralph added that it was the school’s intention has always been that if UMaine’s other fall sports did not play, football would not either. With the decision, the football year restarts for head coach Nick Charlton’s team.
“My plan is basically replicate what we lost in the spring, in the fall, so I know we’re going to be having conversations next week with those CAA members that are looking to the spring now and start to form a preliminary schedule that we can use.”
If, or when the football season gets under way, it will likely be a conference only schedule. This leaves out scheduled non-conference road games against Ball State and UConn. These games were reportedly worth upwards of $600,000 for the university, but those games will be delayed until a later date.
“Yes, we will have a loss of revenue for not having participated in those games, but we’re also going to see a significant savings on the expense side of the ledger, and it’s something we’ll be working on with our business manager,” said Ralph.
The America East conference has chosen to postpone its fall sports until the spring, as well.
This decision affects UMaine’s teams for field hockey, soccer and cross country.
All of UMaine’s America East teams will hope to compete in the spring semester.
As of Friday, this means that all America East teams forfeit their ability to compete for an NCAA championship, as the college athletics governing body has not canceled fall championships as of now.
No decision has been made for winter sports, such as basketball.