The year 2020 could be recorded as one of the most eventful, socially impactful years of our lifetime.
If you consider the tragic deaths of Kobe Bryant, Brianna Taylor, George Floyd, a global pandemic, and the over 1.8 million people worldwide who’ve died because of it, some, quite frankly, would say, ‘it just sucked.’
And because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sports world we once knew came to a screeching halt, and unfortunately involved modified — and in some cases failed — attempts to bring it back to normal in un-normal conditions.
Nevertheless, even in a year dominated by the coronavirus, HBCUs continued to make headlines.
Morehouse College made a bold move when it became the first HBCU to announce that it was canceling fall sports due to the pandemic. A few days later, Wiley College made the same move.
Schools including Florida Memorial and Coahoma Community College made attempts to play fall sports but were ultimately forced to cancel during the season due to pandemic concerns. Florida A&M, in its attempt to hold offseason workouts, even required its student-athletes to sign COVID-19 risk agreements.
We were introduced to student-athletes like Makur Maker, Zach Yeager, Noah Bodden, and twin sisters Bria and Cimone Woodard, who conscientiously decided that they would continue their athletic pursuits at HBCUs.
But nothing compared to the headlines of NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders accepting the head coaching position at Jackson State University and the national media attention that followed.
Using data we’ve retrieved from analytic and social media reports from the past year, below are the 30 most-read stories from 2020.
Happy New Year!
30. Former Grambling standout Shakyla Hill secures first professional quadruple-double
29. North Carolina Central baseball earns ABCA Academic Excellence Award
28. Sister, Sister: Twin volleyball standouts decommit from Texas A&M to play at Howard
27. Jackson State removes John Hendrick as head football coach
26. MEAC issues statement on N.C. A&T’s departure from conference
25. CIAA elects to suspend fall sports amid growing ‘reality’ over COVID-19 case surges
24. MEAC releases all-time football team, 50 of the greatest to ever play
23. Jackson State placed on probation by NCAA for recruiting violations
22. Prized Grambling State QB recruit Noah Bodden wants to be ‘a trendsetter’ for HBCUs
21. HBCU stakeholders, let’s have a conversation about ‘Coach Prime’ and haterade
20. Grambling State confirms coronavirus case
19. Four-star Louisiana two-sport athlete Keon Coleman has HBCU blue bloods on his radar
18. Federal embezzlement charges filed against former Southern band director Nathan Haymer
17. The complete list of HBCU athletic teams ineligible for postseason due to APR
16. Howard joins Northeast Conference as associate member in six sports
15. Delaware State, NEC won’t confirm or deny rumors of future membership affiliation
14. How a 5-minute phone call between Roy Williams and LeVelle Moton led to North Carolina Central playing in Chapel Hill
13. Has Jackson State left Nike for Under Armour? ‘Coach Prime’ has the answer
12. Former ESPN 100 and four-star power forward Carte’are Gordon is transferring to Grambling
11. MEAC releases statement on Bethune-Cookman’s decision to leave conference 2021
10. Don’t let Deion Sanders shooting his shot gas you up
9. Documentary ‘Eddie Robinson: The Man, The Coach, The Leader’ released
8. Alcorn State removes both men’s and women’s basketball coaches
7. ‘This is not a gimmick’: Deion Sanders’ commitment to Jackson State already paying off
6. Bayou Classic will be held in Shreveport instead of New Orleans
5. Noah Bodden, No. 1 high school QB in New York, commits to Grambling State
4. Deion Sanders makes scholarship offer to son, Shedeur
3. Former Coppin State women’s basketball coach and Baltimore legend Tori Harrison passes
2. Kentucky State president pens open letter to Deion Sanders, Jackson State requesting 2021 rematch
1. Sources: Jackson State to name Deion Sanders new head football coach