Column: MEAC made the right call

Columnist Samirra Demry. Photo courtesy Demry

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Council of Presidents and Chancellors officially decided earlier today to cancel all fall 2020 athletic events.

 Two weeks prior to this decision the SIAC, Ivy League and CIAA announced their decisions to cancel football for this fall as well as other intercollegiate sports.

If this decision hadnt been made by the MEAC, I wholeheartedly believe that FAMU would have continued to plan for an upcoming football season. Of all the fall sports, football brings in the most attendance and revenue for the university.

Since returning to campus, 65 student-athletes were tested for COVID. Of that 65, 9 tested positive, according to a release from the university on Wednesday. That’s more than 14 percent of those who were tested.

Though these positive cases are not all football players, because they include athletes in other sports. FAMU was not the only school in the MEAC to have positive COVID cases among student-athletes returning to campus. With that said, it seemed like the MEAC in collaboration with universities in the conference made the best decision.

I applaud the MEAC and FAMU for taking initiative and control over the situation for the safety of student-athletes and staff members involved. This year brings nothing but uncertainty. With that said, there should not be any plans to continue any other athletic programs until there is a vaccine for COVID.

COVID is very much still a threat, especially in the state of Florida. Positive cases are at an all-time high, and will potentially peak at a rate higher than that of Wuhan, China. Until the government does what is right for its citizens, it seems like there is no end in sight for this pandemic.

That means students and their families expect the university to take steps to protect all parties. FAMU is known to be the “college of love and charity.” As students, we want that to show through adjustments made through this pandemic.

Experts are saying there may not be a normal” until the end of 2021 and possibly into 2022. Understandably, FAMU is an institution that is also a business. To keep businesses running, it requires money. Sports, especially football, bring in revenue for the university. However, students are stakeholders of the business that is FAMU. If students are not safe or do not feel safe, that affects the business as well.

As long as FAMU continues to find ways to satisfy all stakeholders, including the state, alumni, current students, faculty and staff, I believe that when this is all said and done everyone will have something to look forward to when sports return.