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Online campaign putting pressure on MAC for fall season

Amid an effort league-wide by players on Wednesday, news reports indicated Mid-American Conference presidents planned on meeting Saturday to discuss the possibility of playing a fall football season.

In a statement issued Thursday, MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher there was no new news to report, standing by an earlier statement to play in the spring.

"The Mid-American Conference continues to work with its member institutions to determine the appropriate course of action moving forward," Steinbrecher said.

Northern Illinois University athletic director Sean Frazier said through a spokesperson that he would let the MAC handle all comments on the matter. President Lisa Freeman, through a spokesperson, had no comment. Two spokespeople for the university said they were unaware of any meetings.

On Wednesday, Steinbrecher said there were no plans to play a fall season and any sport, and the focus was on providing fall athletes "meaningful and competitive experiences" in the spring.

On Thursday, he released a statement saying there was no news to report. A spokesperson for the MAC also did not answer if there was a presidents' meeting on Saturday.

Originally, the MAC was the first conference to announce it would not play in the fall and set its sights on playing in the spring. Other conferences followed, including the PAC-12 and Big Ten.

The PAC-12 and Mountain West along with the MAC are the last conferences not playing football in the fall. Both the PAC-12 and MWC are both expected to announce fall seasons soon.

On Wednesday night, at least 15 NIU football players tweeted the #WeWantToPlay hashtag with an accompanying logo card.

In his tweet, junior tight end Liam Soraghan credited the training staff for keeping players safe so far.

"Administration and Training Staffs have done an amazing job keeping current players healthy and safe. It’s time for the MAC to get the opportunity other conferences have."

NIU had been holding team activities up until Saturday, when an increase in cases caused the school to switch to remote learning until at least September 25.

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