The historically Black Morehouse College has cancelled its fall football and cross country seasons in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, in light of an expected second wave of COIVD-19 predicted to begin in September. In a letter announcing the decision Friday, Dr. David A. Thomas, Morehouse’s president, cited the inability to social distance during group travel and the inability to test and monitor strangers who attend sporting events as contributing factors to the cancellation.
“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,” Thomas wrote. According to USA Today, Morehouse is believed to be the first scholarship football program to call off its 2020 season. In the letter, however, Thomas assured students that all sports-related scholarships would still be honored despite the cancellation.
“We are committed to the principle that our athletes are first and foremost students,” he wrote. “Each one was admitted to Morehouse with the expectation that he has the intellectual ability and commitment to finish his degree studies here. … Our dedicated academic support for our athletes and maintenance of NCAA and SIAC compliance standards will also continue.”
Whether winter or spring sports will resume remains to be seen. “Those decisions will be forthcoming later in the year,” Thomas wrote.