LANGSTON, Okla. (KFOR) – As the state continues in its battle against COVID-19, a local university says it has made the tough decision to cancel fall sports.
On Friday morning, data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health shows that the state has had 15,065 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March.
That’s an increase of 526 cases over the past 24 hours, or a 3.6% jump.
As cases continue to spread across the state, universities are creating plans to safely allow students back on campus in the fall.
While those plans are being made, many student athletes are already attending practices in close proximity to other athletes on campus.
Now, a local university says the risk is simply too great to move forward with sports in the fall.
On Friday, Langston University released a statement, saying it has decided to suspend athletics for the fall semester.
“Yesterday evening, my administration team along with head coaches of fall sports held a meeting with President Smith and our Emergency Leadership Team to discuss the path forward for Langston University Athletics. After careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to suspend athletics for the Fall 2020 semester due to safety concerns with the ongoing pandemic.
The official announcement went out earlier this morning on our social media outlets and via campus email. We did not make this decision lightly, but know that it is in the best interest of our student athletes. The health and safety of our student athletes is truly our top priority. My staff and I stand by this decision and are ready to support our Lions.
Our student athletes will still be allowed to participate in skill development sessions, strength and conditioning training and practices which encompass ten or less people and adhere to the recommended CDC guidelines. All athletic scholarship offers finalized as of July 2, 20202 will be honored for the Fall 2020 semester. My coaches and I met by conference call this morning and we are diligently focusing on ideas that will give our student athletes a dynamic experience with the hope that this aggressive measure will put us in the best position to resume sports in the spring. I assure you, these Lions will be prepared to hunt again!”Statement by Langston University Athletic Director Donnita Rogers.
This summer, college athletes at programs across the country have been testing positive for COVID-19.
Last month, officials at Oklahoma State University announced that several student-athletes tested positive for the virus, but were asymptomatic.
Following the University of Oklahoma’s first round of testing, officials said there were 14 OU football players that had contracted the virus.
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