Morehouse College has announced it will be canceling the upcoming college football and cross country seasons for the fall due to the coronavirus pandemic.
HBCU Gameday was the first outlet to report that the Historically Black College made the decision to protect the health and well-being of the student-athletes and others in the community.
“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,” school president David Thomas said in a statement. “It follows my intention to maintain a safe campus in hopes that our students will be able to return in August. 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.
“I know this news will be most disappointing to our scholar-athletes, especially our seniors. I can only ask for your understanding and respect for the fact that the College is prioritizing your health and safety ahead of all else.”
“We are committed to the principle that our athletes are first and foremost students. Each one was admitted to Morehouse with the expectation that he has the intellectual ability and commitment to finish his degree studies here. We will support each scholar-athlete to realize that central goal that brought him to Morehouse. Our dedicated academic support for our athletes and maintenance of NCAA and SIAC compliance standards will also continue.”
Morehouse College, which is in Atlanta, Georgia, plays in Division II.
The coronavirus outbreak has led to the cancellation or postponing of many large events including the NCAA Tournament, Coachella, SXSW, the Winter X Games, Stagecoach, Ultra Music Festival in Miami, and more. The NBA, NHL, and MLS temporarily suspended their seasons.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 123,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.