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North Carolina Central opts out of spring football season

North Carolina Central is the latest MEAC football team to announce that it will not participate in spring football competition.

North Carolina Central is the latest MEAC football program to decide it will sit out this spring.

NCCU announced on Thursday that it is opting-out of competition during the spring semester due to concerns about the health, safety and well-being of its student-athletes because of COVID-19. Instead it is moving forward with a traditional spring practice to prepare for fall play.

NCCU Director of Athletics Dr. Ingrid Wicker McCree released this statement through the department of athletics: 

“We are disappointed that we will not be able to compete this spring. Our priority is to always provide the best academic and athletic experience for each student-athlete, and delivering this news to members of our football program was difficult. However, after careful and deliberate discussions with our coaching staff and sports performance team members, the health, safety, and well-being of our football student-athletes prevailed as the number one factor in this decision. We have seen first-hand the impact of the pandemic. There are more challenges at this time and it is best for us not to move forward, but to allow our young men to remain safe and prepare for the fall 2021 season.”

ingrid Wicker-mcCree

North Carolina Central is the third MEAC football program to opt out of spring football. Last fall, both Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M decided to skip plans for the spring season. It is the 29th FCS program to opt-out of spring competion.

Eagles head coach Trei Oliver had this to say about the decision:

“This was a very tough decision to make, and my staff and I gave this a lot of thought. We evaluated our student-athletes after completing their first week of workouts this semester and determined we would not be physically prepared by the start of the season. Football is a high-impact sport and a violent game. I know it is not in the best interest of our student-athletes to attempt to play and risk a catastrophic injury. We are very disappointed. As a competitor, you try to do all that you can to play, but I am not going to risk the well-being of my players.”

Trei Oliver
NCCU head coach

With NCCU’s decision the MEAC is down to six football schools for a proposed spring football season: South Carolina State, NC A&T, Norfolk State, Howard, Morgan State and Delaware State. 

North Carolina Central opts out of spring football season
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