CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - With their spring season scheduled to begin next Saturday, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference suspended the upcoming spring football season indefinitely on Thursday.
The conference said in a statement that six of the nine football playing schools had opted out of playing this season. Conference policy states if 50% or more institutions cannot participate in any championship, the championship for that sport will be suspended.
Three of the schools in the conference, including South Carolina State, have indicated that they intend to move forward playing football in the spring. SC State will have to follow the ongoing protocols they have outlined at their schools and continue to align with the CDC guidelines and the NCAA’s health and safety provisions that have guided collegiate athletics throughout the academic year according to the MEAC.
“We consulted with our team doctors, medical professionals, coaches and student-athletes and have determined that we are able to compete this spring in all of our remaining sports including football,” said SC State Athletics Director Stacy Danley. “As we move forward we will continue to make decisions based in the best interest of student-athletes’ health and safety.”
According to university medical officials, the Bulldog teams will continue a rigorous testing regimen to help keep the student-athletes and coaching staff healthy.
“SC State University’s student-athletes undergo regular COVID-19 testing weekly,” said Craig Harward, director of sports medicine. “As of today, the football team has zero positive tests.”
“While it is tremendously disappointing to suspend the spring 2021 football season, it is the right decision with regards to the health and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans,” MEAC Commissioner Dennis E. Thomas said. “As I have stated since the beginning of the pandemic, health and safety will continue to be at the forefront of every decision. We support those institutions who will continue to play.”
SC State was scheduled to open the season on February 20th at home against Norfolk State. The Spartans are another team that has said they’d like to play in the spring.