Sports

NCAA recommends no sports on election day, MAC will reschedule NIU football game

NIU, Buffalo originally scheduled to square off Nov. 3 on ESPN2

The NIU Huskies take the field to fight for the Mallory Cup against the Miami Redhawks in DeKalb Nov. 14.
The NIU Huskies take the field to fight for the Mallory Cup against the Miami Redhawks in DeKalb Nov. 14.

The NCAA is encouraging its 1,100 member colleges and universities to give athletes the day off from sports on Election Day on Nov. 3, and the Mid-American Conference plans to reschedule Northern Illinois University's football game against Buffalo that night.

The Huskies originally were scheduled to host Buffalo in a MAC game televised on ESPN2 on Nov. 3 at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb.

"The MAC, member schools and ESPN are all working toward a new date for this game," MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said in a statement.

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.

“We commend NCAA student-athletes who recognized the need for change and took action through safe and peaceful protest,” the NCAA Board of Governors said in a statement Friday. “We encourage students to continue to make their voices heard on these important issues, engage in community activism and exercise their Constitutional rights.”

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

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

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

• The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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