The thought of college football not happening is a reality we may have to face in 2020. COVID-19 has imposed itself on the sports landscape as we know it. Dominoes are starting to fall, and as the season draws near, colleges are deciding—one after another—to suspend fall sports.
No football at Morehouse or Langston
Morehouse pulled the trigger first when they announced on June 26 to cancel fall sports due to COVID-19.
Langston followed suit on Friday, Jul 3, in a statement from The Director of Athletics, Donnita Rogers, announcing the decision to suspend athletics.
‘After careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to suspend athletics for the Fall 2020 semester due to safety concerns with the ongoing pandemic’
In spite of the cancellation, the student athletes at Langston University will still be able to attend skill development sessions like strength and conditioning trainings and practices which “Encompass ten or less people and adhere to the recommended CDC guidelines”, according to Rogers. Woefully, Lions fans will just be missing out on the opportunity to cheer on their favorite sport this fall.
As another bites the dust, it begs the question: is it realistic to expect an HBCU football season this fall?
College football draws thousands of fans and loads of revenue, so most HBCUs can’t afford to go without a football season. These schools, also, can’t afford to put their student’s health at risk.
Some things that HAVE to happen for the possibility of a football season in 2020 according to sources
- COVID-19 numbers either have to significantly decline, or be in a downward trend.
- Colleges must have the resources to test and monitor student-athletes for COVID-19 almost daily.
- Universities have to guarantee the ability to clean and provide safe facilities for these student-athletes to operate.
- Players and coaches have to essentially be in a bubble for the season (Isolated from the community)
Even with all of these precautions it seems unlikely and extremely cumbersome to have a football season this fall.
Maybe HBCU fans would be open to the idea of having a spring football season as the IVY League schools are considering?
The possibilities are interesting, but it’s too soon to tell for sure.
I—for one– am still holding out hope we’ll get to see the pig skin tossed around this fall on the gridiron, but that grows increasingly unlikely as schools continue to suspend fall sports.