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Fayetteville State University and Bowie State played for the 2019 CIAA Football Championship. The conference announced it will not hold sponsored sports this fall.

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) announced it won’t hold any sponsored sports this fall, as concerns over COVID-19 spread continue to mount. The CIAA has 12 member universities, including Fayetteville State University.

The announcement cancels the football, volleyball, and cross country seasons scheduled for the member schools, but the conference said they would explore possibly holding modified seasons in Spring 2021.

“This was a difficult decision but remains consistent with our long-standing priority of always acting in the best interest of our student-athletes, coaches, and support staff,” said CIAA Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams. “While there will be no athletic competition in the fall, we will continue to support opportunities that enhance the experiences of our student-athletes, member institutions, and partners.”

All student-athletes on athletic scholarships at the schools will have their scholarships honored still, the league said.

“The safety, health, and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and staff are non-negotiable. Decisions of this magnitude are made with those factors as number one priority while looking to address current issues that have an adverse impact on all of us,” said Clyde Doughty, Bowie State VP of Intercollegiate Athletics & Recreation and President of CIAA Athletic Directors Association. “These are unprecedented times and our conference continues to work together to identify the best solutions that address the concerns impacting our ability to participate and exist.”

No decision has been made yet on Winter and Spring sports, the league said. And no announcement will come on that until progress is made on the flattening the COVID-19 curve.

Brandon Plotnick is a former sports journalist, now living in the digital space with interests all over the musical and pop culture map.