CIAA cancels its football season

Posted at 11:22 PM, Oct 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-06 20:38:22-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- After several months of going over the information, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) decided not to have a football season in the spring of 2021. This will mark the first time since World War I there won't be competitive football within the conference.

"We really had our hopes up on playing in the spring," said Virginia State University Head Football Coach Reggie Barlow. "Obviously the administrators came together and realized and thought about it and think it's in our best interest not to play this spring."

"When you look at all the factors and look at what science and data is telling us, just trying to provide a great opportunity for our student-athletes to be able to compete for a championship," VSU Athletic Director Peggy Davis stated. "What the NCAA did in making the decision to not have a football championship this year, we did not want to take that opportunity away from our student-athletes."

The CIAA initially postponed football along with men's and women's cross-country to the spring as they were receiving more information about COVID-19, while also keeping an eye on what the NCAA would do with their championships.

"We were really paying close attention to what the NCAA was doing and the decisions that they were making," Davis explained. "As they were looking at what the CDC was saying and recommending. So we just felt like that was the best decision for our student-athletes."

Since the decision became final, coaches and administrators have received many questions from the student-athletes about what's next.

"The biggest thing is the eligibility question," Coach Barlow mentioned. "If I'm a senior coming back, and I was supposed to play this year. So the biggest question was the eligibility. Whether or not these guys will be able to have one year left, two years left."

"They will get their year," said Davis. "NCAA is going to allow those student-athletes to have their four seasons. And that's a good thing. So now they have something to look forward to. So those student-athletes who were finishing up their undergraduate degree, have an opportunity to now maybe move into the graduate program."