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Morehouse College cancels fall sports

The Atlanta-based men's college competes in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC).

ATLANTA — Morehouse College announced Friday that they have canceled all fall collegiate sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a release from college president Dr. David Thomas, the decision will affect the school's cross country and football teams. The Atlanta-based men's college competes in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC).

The decision was a difficult one, Thomas said, but was made with the health and well-being of students and the community in mind.

"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," Thomas said.

The decision does not affect winter or spring sports. Those decisions will be made at a later date, he said.

All athletic scholarship awards will be honroed, Thomas said.

In a Zoom call with 11Alive Sports, Interim Athletics Director Javarro Edwards assured that no athletes had tested positive for COVID-19, but they chose to preemptively suspend the season because they didn't believe they could "meet the standard of care" for protecting their athletes from the virus and keep them safe to learn which Edwards said is their priority.

Edwards added that he does not believe the decision will be a detriment to the school financially, because athletics is not their driving source of revenue. 

"I am extremely optimistic about the College's future. We will rise out of COVID-19 moment stronger and more focused on delivering our mission. So much of what the country has experienced these last few months makes clear that the world needs Morehouse," Thomas added.

According to Thomas, Morehouse hopes to maintain a safe campus environment in order to reopen for students to return for study in late August.

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