The COVID-19 pandemic has created massive uncertainty throughout the sports world throughout 2020. Friday brought some clarity for Morehouse College -- and it isn't good for its football team. The school announced that its two fall sports -- football and cross country -- will not field teams during the fall semester.
"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 A. Thomas said. "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."
Morehouse, which is located in Atlanta and plays in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC), went 4-6 last year and beat rival Clark Atlanta. 40-39.
"I know this news will be most disappointing to our scholar-athletes, especially our seniors," Thomas said. "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."
The news that the Maroon Tigers will not play in 2020 is another sign that college football could be in jeopardy. Division III Bowdoin College has canceled all of its fall sports including football, and the Southern Heritage Classic between Jackson State and Tennessee State and Southern's matchup vs. Florida A&M have also been canceled due to safety precautions.