Bethune-Cookman cancels all sports for 2020-21

Bethune-Cookman University has nixed all sports for the entire academic year, becoming the first Division I school to opt out due to impacts of the coronavirus.

The private and historically Black school is located in Daytona Beach, Fla., an area seeing a spike in cases of COVID-19 in the county and state.

“B-CU will forgo all spring athletic competition, including football and men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball and track and field,” school president Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite said in a letter sent out Monday night. “The recent spike in COVID-19 positivity rates in the state, across Volusia County and on our campus provides clear and unambiguous evidence, in our view, that now is simply not the time to resume athletic competition.”

The university locked down last week with 30 students isolated and quarantined on campus. The school announced 15 positive cases between Oct. 16 and Oct. 21.

This was to be BCU’s final year in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference; the school announced earlier this year that it was moving to the Southwestern Athletic Conference in 2021.

The Bethune-Cookman’s women’s basketball team was predicted to win the southern division of the MEAC this season behind senior forward Amaya Scott, who was named the conference’s preseason player of the year.