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MAC shrinks football travel roster, cuts hotels for home games

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Three days after announcing changes to several sports, the Mid-American Conference is making changes to football to combat the financial strain of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nick Piotrowicz of the Toledo Blade reported on Friday the conference is shrinking its football travel roster from 76 to 70 and will not allow teams to stay in hotels the night before home games. 

Along with staying in hotels on the road, most teams stay in a local hotel the night before a home game to help prevent distractions. 

Now, players will stay in their dorm rooms or apartments the night before kickoff. 

The MAC also made changes earlier in the week to help alleviate costs. 

On Tuesday, the conference announced it would eliminate postseason tournaments for eight sports — baseball, softball, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's tennis, women's lacrosse and field hockey. 

Conference champions in each sport, and its NCAA Tournament bid, will be determined by the regular season as opposed to the tournament.  

Changes were also made to the men's and women's basketball tournaments and the conference's volleyball tournament. 

The basketball tournaments will be cut from 12 teams to eight, eliminating the first round campus game. Instead, the top eight teams in the standings will qualify for the tournament and open play in Cleveland, Ohio, while the bottom four teams will not qualify. 

Divisions have been eliminated and each team will play 20 conference games instead of 18. 

In volleyball, the tournament will be cut in half from eight teams to four.