It is going to be an eventful week for Frank Pergolizzi and Steve Peed.
The athletic directors of Husson University and Maine Maritime Academy, respectively, are having a Zoom meeting with the athletic directors of schools within their conferences with the fate of their fall sports seasons weighing in the balance.
Husson and MMA are in the North Atlantic Conference for several sports including fall offerings soccer and cross country for both men and women. Both schools also have women’s volleyball and men’s golf while Husson also has field hockey and women’s golf.
Pergolizzi said the NAC athletic directors had their Zoom meeting on Tuesday and sent recommendations to Commissioner Marcella Zalot and the presidents of the respective schools.
Their respective football teams are in different conferences.
Husson is in the Commonwealth Coast Conference while MMA is in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference.
“We should know something by the end of the week,” Pergolizzi said. “Some conferences have totally suspended fall sports and others are just playing conference games. There aren’t too many [conferences] left standing.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has already canceled the fall seasons in the Ivy and Patriot Leagues along with the NESCAC. The Big Ten and PAC-10 conferences are only going to play conference games in their fall sports.
The National Junior College Athletic Association is moving its football season to spring.
Maine Maritime Academy has already limited its fall sports teams to games or competitions against just in-state rivals and they all must be contested within the state.
MMA is the only team in the NEWMAC football conference from Maine, so it can’t play any games because of the school’s in-state guidelines.
There are five Maine teams in the men’s and women’s NAC soccer leagues and four teams from out of state.
MMA and Husson are joined by in-state rivals Thomas College in Waterville, the University of Maine at Presque Isle and the University of Maine at Farmington, along with New York schools SUNY Canton and SUNY Delhi and Vermont entities Northern Vermont Johnson and Northern Vermont Lyndon.
Husson’s Commonwealth Coast Conference consists of five schools from Massachusetts, one from Rhode Island and in-state rival the University of New England in Biddeford.
With Maine’s three NCAA Division III NECAC schools — Bates, Bowdoin and Colby — unavailable to play because its conference canceled fall sports, Peed would like to see the state’s three remaining Division III football schools play each other this fall in order to give their seniors a well-deserved opportunity to finish off their careers with games.
“They have worked hard for three years,” Peed said.
Pergolizzo agreed, saying “we feel the same way [about our seniors].”
UNE and Husson were already scheduled to play because they are in the same conference but neither was slated to play a non-conference game with MMA.
Husson and MMA are scheduled to meet for the first time ever in 2021 and will play again in 2022.
Pergolizzi and Peed wouldn’t mind moving the fall sports to the spring, although Husson would have a problem because the football and baseball teams play on the same field.
“It takes a day to remove the goal posts and it is expensive. It’s something like $2,500,” Pergolizzi said. “But maybe we could play football at the Bangor High or Hampden Academy fields.”
Peed said his school would be well-equipped to play the fall sports in the spring because they don’t have baseball and softball so there wouldn’t be an issue involving the facilities.
“Our biggest concern would be our support staff like the trainers and sports information directors and so on and so forth. They would have to do a lot of heavy lifting,” Peed said.
“But it would be worthwhile. You want to give your student-athletes the best experience possible,” he added.