Three HBCU Baseball Programs Terminate 2021 Season

Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) members Texas College, Wiley College, and Huston-Tillotson University Department of Athletics have announced cancellation of their 2021 baseball seasons. The impact of the pandemic and the health and safety of students-athletes has each institution modifying the spring season.

The institutions, presidents along with administrations deliberated the decision to forgo the season with the health and safety of student-athletes as top priority. The decision was made given the concerns about contracting COVID-19.

According to the NCAA and NAIA, all student-athletes that have been affected by COVID-19 because of any cancellations will receive an automatic additional year of eligibility.

The HBCU programs elected to opt out of the proposed 2021 spring season, it was announced this past December. The concern regarding the effects of a short turnaround and recovery time from a spring season were too big of a health risk.

Texas College’s president made the decision opting out after the March, 2020, pandemic. The institution reduced the student-athletes’ athletic aid according to sources. The administration also made a determination to lay off it’s entire athletic staff in March. The administrators governing body was the only institution across the nation to cut salaries right after the pandemic hit.

The executive board never consulted the baseball coaching staff of the decision to opt-out and forgo the 2021 baseball season. The college did a poor job of planning safety protocols and stated budget cuts and the loss of scholarship funding make the situation even more challenging.

The baseball program had a $97,000 budget left over when when the COVID-19 disease hit. Wiley caught in the budget crunch received funding from the CARES Act along with Texas College.

The Act provides targeting funding to Texas institutions to help students continue their education. The Texas institutions of higher learning were awarded more than $1 billion of the $14 billion available. 

Wiley College received – $1,538,638 and Texas College received $2,358,852 of the allocated funding to help the expenses of campus to adjust each institutions to operate normally.

The cancellation of baseball forced each program to lose players from it’s rosters moving on to NCAA Division I, DII and top NAIA teams. Players’ parents weren’t happy with the schools decision. The current plans to proceed with baseball competition in the RRAC will move on as scheduled. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.