By Alex Hines
Normally, this would the time when we would be getting excited because football season is around the corner, especially for us HBCU fans. But, of course, these are not normal times. We are in the middle of a pandemic due to COVID-19. Just as it appeared there was hope for a college football season, the number of people contracting the virus are on the rise again.
With that in mind, the safety of people, and especially our young people, should be the first priority — not money. Yes, our HBCU athletic departments run on tight budgets and need money to survive. Most, if not all, of our athletic programs cannot really afford to miss the football season and the loss of revenue. But for the safety of our athletes and students, canceling the fall season will be the right choice.
Hampton University made the right choice on July 13, by canceling fall sports. If the rest of our schools need reason to make the right choice, then look at North Carolina A&T who, as of July 6th, has had four athletes that has tested positive. We know the Football Bowl Subdivision is all about money and will put the athletes at risk to make a buck. But our HBCUs should be about something that is more important: making sure that students are safe; that means all students, athletes included.
I’ve been a HBCU sports fan all of my life and no one is going to miss the games more than me. But as long as COVID-19 is around, our schools should cancel all sports. It will be the right thing to do for our HBCUs that have operated in integrity for years.
We need to remember that not only are they student-athletes, they are someone’s child. That should matter the most.