Bethune-Cookman University, a historically Black college in Volusia County, Florida, has canceled all sports for the rest of the 2020-21 school year, HBCU Gameday reported on Monday.
It is believed to be the first Division I school to stop all sports.
The school’s president, Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite, explained the decision in a letter to the B-CU community:
B-CU will forgo all spring athletic competition, including football and men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball and track and field. ... The recent spike in COVID-19 positivity rates in the state, across Volusia County [Florida] and on our campus provides clear and unambiguous evidence, in our view, that now is simply not the time to resume athletic competition.
This means the Bethune-Cookman Lady Wildcats’ women’s basketball team will not be competing during the 2020-21 NCAAW season. The team went 23-6 overall last year and 15-1 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). The Lady Wildcats’ leading scorer and rebounder from a year ago, Amaya Scott, was set to return for her senior year and had been named the MEAC Preseason Player of the Year one week ago.
The school is on lockdown after 15 positive COVID-19 tests from Oct. 16 to Oct. 21. There have been 544 new cases in Volusia County in the past seven days.
Without better efforts to slow the spread, should programs and their fans anticipate that they could be next?