NORFOLK, Va. — Norfolk State football fans won’t be tailgating this season.
The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference is joining what is becoming a long list of FCS and HBCU conferences that have decided not to have fall sports this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The MEAC made it official Thursday afternoon, with the news first reported by HBCU Sports.
“The health and safety of our student-athletes continue to be our number one priority. We have made the decision to suspend all sports competitions after careful review of the current conditions and consideration of the potential exposure that regular travel to competitions may cause and ongoing extensive physical contact,” said Howard University President and Chair of MEAC Council of Presidents and Chancellors, Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick. “While our competitions have been suspended, each member institution will plan ongoing engagement of all student-athletes to ensure optimization of their physical and mental well-being as they continue their matriculation.”
The decision comes one week after the Division II CIAA decided to cancel football. Hampton University, a HCBU and former MEAC member, announced earlier this week it was also cancelling all fall sports.
The Spartans were scheduled to open their season against Virginia State on September 5, but that game came off the board last week when the CIAA canceled its season. In addition, NSU was scheduled to visit East Carolina on September 19.
According to HBCU Gameday, at least two MEAC schools, North Carolina A&T and Florida A&M have had student-athletes test positive for COVID 19 since returning to campus in July.
The MEAC has yet to decide whether fall sports will be moved to the spring, but said winter sports are still scheduled to be played at this time.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.