(By David Steele for The Undefeated) Alcorn State has become the fifth FCS-level historically Black college (HBCU) program to cancel football for the 2020-21 season. The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) power is opting out of the spring 2021 football season because of COVID-19 issues in the program.
“Due to concerns and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the upcoming spring football season, we have determined opting out is our best course of action,” Alcorn State athletic director Derek Horne said in the school’s official release.
“This is indeed a difficult decision, and I’m especially mindful this will be disappointing news to our student-athletes, along with our dedicated fans and supporters. The football program is our largest sport and involves over half of our student-athletes on campus, and a decision of this magnitude is also made with the best interests of the community in mind.
“We looked forward to defending our conference title; however, in these unprecedented times, the safety of the players, coaches, staff and fans is our top priority.”
Alcorn State, winner of the last two SWAC championships and the conference’s representative in the last two Celebration Bowls, will join Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) members Bethune-Cookman, Florida A&M and North Carolina Central, and Big South member Hampton, in forgoing football this year.
Both Division II HBCU conferences, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association and Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, decided last fall to cancel football for the year. Tennessee State, of the predominantly white Ohio Valley Conference, is still scheduled to play this season, with its opener set for Feb. 21. Continue reading here.