Citing a surge in COVID-19 cases on its campus and with the athletic department, Winston-Salem State has canceled the remainder of the spring sports season and halted football practice.
“The Winston-Salem State University Department of Athletics has canceled the remainder of the spring sports seasons. due to COVID-19 protocols and contact tracing. Specifically, the decision affects the sports of softball and track & field,” the school said in a statement released Saturday. “While it is disappointing, it is the right decision to ensure the health and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches, staff, and supporters.”
The Winston Salem Journal reported that athletics director Etienne Thomas canceled the rest of spring football practice because of a spike in coronavirus cases. The school documented 115 cases this semester, the newspaper reported.
Prior to the cancelation of spring sports, the WSSU softball team was 4-3 on the season. The track and field team last competed in a two-day event on April 1 and April 2 in High Point, North Carolina.
“Health and safety will continue to be at the forefront of every decision. We will strive to finish out the spring academic term and to continue to enhance the academic, professional, and personal growth of the student-athletes of Winston-Salem State University, school officials said.
In December, the CIAA canceled spring sports for men’s and women’s basketball.
“This was not an easy decision or one that was taken lightly by the CIAA Board,” said Virginia State University President and CIAA Board Chair Dr. Makola Abdullah. “We all want to have a season, and we want our student-athletes, coaches and staff to have a season. However, the data, which changes almost daily, does not support such a decision. The potential risk outweighs the desire to play.”