The prominent Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference competitor has opted out of the 2020-2021 season in order to avoid any possible exposure to COVID-19. The decision primarily impacts men's and women's basketball and football. "In the face of a surging COVID-19 spike across much of the country and the State of Florida, we have concluded that the risks are too great for our student-athletes and staff to travel and compete at this time," Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite, the school's president, said in a statement. "The health and safety of our student-athletes, as well as our coaches, staff, and fans will always be our top priority."
The president continued, "We obviously recognize that other institutions may elect to move forward with spring competition. The decision for us, however, was not a complicated one. The risk premium is simply too high and our priority remains the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. As members of the B-CU family constantly engage in various forms of civic engagement, this decision also protects our community partners as well."
Bethune-Cook will move into the Southwestern Conference in 2021 and is a Divison 1 competitor. The school is the first of other Division 1 schools to cancel their activities in totality. It's likely other schools will follow suit due to financial difficulties and Coronavirus concerns. Bethune-Cook is currently under a lockdown since 15 students tested positive for the virus between October 16th and 21st.