Morehouse College Cancels Fall Sports Because Of Coronavirus Fears

Isheka N. Harrison
Written by Isheka N. Harrison
Due to the continued threat of Covid-19, Morehouse College has cancelled its Fall sports schedule, which includes cross country and football. In this photo, Morehouse defensive back Joshua Thurston (4) runs with ball as he tries to get away from Howard safety Cameron Alston (10) during the first half of an NCAA college football game at RFK Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Due to the continued threat of Covid-19, Morehouse College has cancelled its Fall sports schedule, which includes cross country and football. The Atlanta-based HBCU made the announcement on its website Friday, June 26.

“I write to inform you that due to the COVID-19 virus, Morehouse College will not participate in intercollegiate athletic competition sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) this upcoming Fall,” Morehouse President David A. Thomas wrote in a letter about the matter.

He noted it was not an easy decision, but was a necessary one.

“Like all of the decisions we’ve made related to COVID-19, this was a difficult one but was made with the health and well-being of our students and community in mind. It follows my intention to maintain a safe campus in hopes that our students will be able to return in August,” Thomas continued. “Our Maroon Tiger teams travel to other NCAA institutions and cannot compete without breaking from social distancing guidelines still maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sporting events also invite individuals to our campus who will not be subject to the testing and monitoring that we plan to implement for our students, faculty, and staff.”

Adding he knew it was disappointing to their scholar athletes, specifically seniors, Thomas said the school was “prioritizing your health and safety ahead of all else.” As of Friday, Thomas said they had not made any decisions regarding Winter and Spring sports and those would come later in the year.

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Thomas also noted Morehouse would still honor all athletic scholarship awards and directed athletes to follow up with head coach Ruben Perez.

The announcement came at a time when other HBCUs are changing divisions and cancelling games amid the pandemic also. For example Florida A&M University (FAMU) and Southern University’s classic match-up as well as North Carolina A&T and North Carolina Central have all cancelled games, The Undefeated reported.

Like many HBCUs, the coronavirus has hit them particularly hard and is compounding pre-existing issues like Morehouse’s layoffs earlier this year after a drop in enrollment.