Ohio Director of Athletics Julie Cromer addressed the Mid-American Conference’s decision to cancel fall sports Monday night with a “letter to Bobcat Nation.”

In Cromer’s letter, she expressed her disappointment but understanding with the MAC’s decision. 

“This was not an easy decision,” Cromer wrote. “However, we simply could not continue down a traditional path this fall without compromising the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, support staff and fans. Their well-being has been and always will be our top priority, and, based on what we know today, we have made the best decision to preserve that at this time.”

On Aug. 8, the MAC announced it would not move forward with its fall slate of sports, citing COVID-19 as the reason. In a piece by Stadium’s Brett McMurphy, it was reported it was a combination of health concerns and financial pressure for the MAC to postpone the season. 

When the Big Ten announced July 9 that it would play a conference-only schedule, the MAC lost out on 11 games and a combined $10.5 million. Multiple MAC schools’ athletic departments — including Ohio — are facing financial troubles after a double whammy of losing the MAC basketball tournament and the fall season. 

But there’s still room for hope, Bobcat fans. 

In Cromer’s letter, she addressed the MAC is working on a plan to potentially have fall sports played in spring 2021. Those plans are far from finalized, but Ohio’s taking the steps to prepare. 

Ohio athletes will be allowed to “practice and continue limited workouts, skill instruction and drills under acceptable protocols, as permitted by the MAC and NCAA,” Cromer wrote. 

For Ohio football season ticket holders affected, their investment will be honored in one of four potential ways:

• Credit toward the potential spring 2021 football season

• A current year donation to Ohio Athletics 

• Credit toward the fall 2021 football season 

• A full refund

Ohio will not take the field for any sports in the fall of 2020. That would have been thought as a pessimistic possibility in March, but now it’s a reality. Ohio must now look to saving the winter season and preserving the hopes of fall sports returning in the spring. 

“In the meantime, we will reset our sights beyond returning to ‘normal’ and instead prepare to return better than we were before,” Cromer wrote. “We will be better teammates, better competitors, better leaders, better Bobcats. We continue to believe that as Bobcats we are built for this, and while ‘normal’ as we knew it will not return, we will come back stronger from this experience, together.”

@JL_Kirven 

jk810916@ohio.edu