The Howard Bison men’s basketball team won’t be returning to action until next fall at the earliest.
Howard confirmed on Tuesday that it has canceled the remainder of the season “out of an abundance of caution due to the health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Bison lost four straight games to start the campaign and then earned a victory over the Hampton Pirates on Dec. 18. That was Howard’s final appearance before the team recorded multiple positive COVID-19 cases, per the Washington Informer.
“We had several team members test positive in January, and were forced to place the program on hold, cancel several games and finally cancel our season. It was and remains the right thing for us to do,” Howard coach Kenneth Blakeney said for the prepared statement. “Ultimately, our number one priority is to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes, both mentally and physically. Canceling the season is in the best interest of the team at this time.”
Blakeney continued: “Fortunately, this gives our student-athletes the opportunity to finish their academic year strong while demonstrating their resiliency upon their return. We are Bison Strong; we will get through this together.”
As of Tuesday evening, Howard is maintaining schedules for all other varsity sports programs.
Basketball coaches and athletic directors around the country could soon face similar difficult decisions with postseason competitions approaching. While a program could endure a couple of postponements at this stage of a season, a mandated 14-day quarantine of team personnel in late February or early March could be enough for a university to shut that team down through the campaign’s conclusion.