Florida Memorial football helmet
Photo: FMU Athletics

The coronavirus is no respecter of people, status, or the beast that is college football.

COVID-19, the novel virus that has disrupted societies all around the world, is the biggest bully on the block.

Florida Memorial University has been turned upside down, battered and stuffed into a locker by the disease.

After embarking on an attempt to become the only HBCU to hold athletic events during the middle of a pandemic, FMU is now in crisis.

The school recently announced that it has postponed all sporting events because of COVID-19 issues, including canceling the season for its soccer and volleyball programs.

It gets worse.

Four coaches were either suspended or resigned due to the fallout of their mishandling of the virus’ impact on the programs they helped lead.

The moves come on the heels of athletes in several sports alleging the school ignored a widespread coronavirus outbreak within the athletic department.

Athletic director Earnest Jones denied that report, saying that FMU has diligently followed CDC safety protocols and infection reporting guidelines.

“I would be a terrible leader if we didn’t follow them,” Jones told HBCU Sports last week. “We are living in a national pandemic right now. We believe in transparency and the health and wellness of our student-athletes.”

The football program was able to play the first half of its schedule without disruption. However, the Lions have since postponed two games amid reports of COVID-19 issues.

College sports have learned a hard lesson that without the confinement of a protected bubble that housed the NBA, NHL, MLS and WNBA the virus will find its way in despite whatever precautions are in place.

As of Wednesday, 10 percent of all FBS games have either been postponed or canceled because of COVID-19 concerns.

The virus has penetrated every program from Georgia Southern to Alabama. It has impacted governors, law enforcement, health care institutions and even the White House. It is no surprise that a small college in Florida did not get out unscathed.

The right thing now would be for Florida Memorial to relent while they’re behind and cease all operations until it safe and feasible to do so for the sake of everyone. They’re no longer in control. The coronavirus is as long as there is no vaccine or silver bullet cure to make sports less risky.



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