State briefs for Jan. 9, 2020
MACU eSports team coming this year
A video gaming team, supplied with athletic scholarships, will join the MACU athletics department, which also offers men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, baseball, softball and volleyball.
A MACU news release reported the team will launch this year but provided no specific date.
The eSports team will compete against other colleges playing “Overwatch,” “League of Legends,” “Rocket League” and “Super Smash Bros.” The Oklahoma City-based university has joined the National Association of Collegiate Esports, which lists more than 170 participating schools and 5,000 student-athletes.
Chief Operating Officer Jody Allen said MACU expects to develop one of the top eSports programs in the country.
“We have students who love playing basketball or soccer. Some students have a passion for singing or theater,” Allen said in a statement. “We also have students who have a passion for video games and we want to tap into that talent and help them excel as students while doing an activity they enjoy.”
MACU follows Oklahoma City University into the video gaming world. OCU established its eSports team in September and will become the first college in the state to offer an eSports degree program. Enrollment starts this fall for a bachelor of arts in eSports management.
An eSports lab at MACU will open this month. The facility is expected to grow as the eSports program develops.
“Esports has quickly become a worldwide sport and will soon surpass viewership of all professional sports combined,” Allen said. “We intend to offer the premier varsity program not just in Oklahoma, but in the country.”
OKC Council considers marijuana rule
The Oklahoma City Council is set to extend tobacco smoking restrictions to smoking and vaping marijuana, bringing city ordinances into conformance with state law.
Regulations currently establish nonsmoking areas near many building entrances and forbid smoking in many indoor places open to the public, at the zoo, in parks, on buses and the streetcar, in city buildings, and in schools and on school buses, among other places.
A proposal being considered by the council would extend those restrictions to smoking and vaping medical marijuana. The council plans a public hearing on the changes Jan. 21.