On Thursday, July 16, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference announced the suspension of all fall sports in response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the 2020 Florida Blue Florida Classic between the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats and Florida A&M Rattlers will not be played in its traditional November window.
“Obviously this is an arduous decision because everyone wants to have a fall season for student-athletes, fans and others,” MEAC Commissioner Dr. Dennis Thomas said in a release from the conference. “Part of our responsibility is to ensure the mental and physical health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff is paramount. It is imperative that everyone recognize that is our first and foremost responsibility.”
The conference, which includes both Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M, has not yet decided on whether fall sports schedules will be moved to the 2021 spring semester.
“While we are disappointed by the fact that we will not be competing this fall, we do believe this is in the best interest for our student-athletes and our institution,” FAMU Vice President and Director of Athletics Kortne Gosha said in a statement released by the university. “Please understand that this decision was not taken lightly. I am extremely confident that we will continue to work through these challenging times together.”
Bethune-Cookman athletics director Lynn Thompson also released a statement regarding the conference’s decision to suspend play:
At Florida Citrus Sports, we will remain in close contact with our partners at both universities over the coming weeks and months and look forward to hosting the 41st edition of the Florida Blue Florida Classic when it is appropriate to do so.