Morehouse Cancels Football Season Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

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Morehouse, an HBCU located in Atlanta, has canceled its 2020 fall sports, including football, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The school also will not compete in cross country, its other fall sport. In a letter to the Morehouse community, president David A. Thomas said the school will honor athletic scholarships.

"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. It follows my intention to maintain a safe campus in hopes that our students will be able to return in August," Thomas said in the letter. 

"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 plays in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, went 4–6 last season.

Thomas said the announcement does not apply to upcoming winter and spring sports, and the school will reach a decision on those later in the year.

"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," he said.

According to ESPN, Morehouse is believed to be the first scholarship football program to cancel its 2020 season. Florida Tech cut its football team in May as part of the school's cost-cutting measures amid the pandemic. Bowdoin College has already canceled its fall and winter sports, and the Southern Heritage Classic between Jackson State and Tennessee State has been called off.