Dominoes keep falling
The MEAC tried to hang on. But COVID proved to be the better opponent.
After 6 of 9 teams opted out of spring football, the league had no choice but to suspend the season, set the start on Feb. 20.
MEAC policy states that if 50% or more teams cannot participate for a conference championship, that particular sport will be suspended. Right now, Delaware State, Howard and South Carolina State are still planning to grind out a spring season – independently, of course.
“While it is tremendously disappointing to suspend the spring 2021 football season, it is the right decision with regards to the health and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans,” MEAC Commissioner Dennis E. Thomas said. “As I have stated since the beginning of the pandemic, health and safety will continue to be at the forefront of every decision. We support those institutions who will continue to play.”
And while I was still trying to digest that North Carolina A&T won’t be defending its three-time MEAC title, North Carolina Central announces that the baseball program will end after this season. According to numerous sources, baseball had the third largest number of scholarships, behind football and men’s basketball. Coach Jim Koerner never won a MEAC championship during his time, but he did send a plethora of athletes to the professional ranks.
“This is a challenging day for our baseball student-athletes, coaches and the NCCU athletics program, and certainly one of the most disappointing days in my career,” said athletic director Ingrid Wicker McCree. “I sincerely understand how much time and dedication has been put into becoming a college student-athlete, and I empathize with our baseball student-athletes, parents, and families. There is never the ‘right time’ to make an announcement such as this; however, this decision was made after a rigorous internal and external review of our long-term financial model to improve the overall sustainability of our athletics program. We appreciate the loyalty our baseball donors, fans and supporters have shown throughout the history of the program.”