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CIAA Cancels 2021 Basketball And Volleyball Seasons

Gwendolyn Glenn / WFAE

The CIAA has canceled its basketball season and tournament due to concerns about COVID-19. It was scheduled to start Jan. 9. The upcoming women’s volleyball season was also canceled.

The recent spike in COVID-19 cases drove the board’s unanimous vote, said conference spokeswoman Suzette McQueen.

CIAA Board Chair Dr. Makola Abdullah said in a statement that it was not an easy decision to make.

“We all want to have a season, and we want our student-athletes, coaches and staff to have a season,” said Abdullah. “However, the data, which changes almost daily, does not support such a decision. The potential risk outweighs the desire to play.”

The CIAA celebrated its 75th tournament last year, and McQueen said this is the first time in the history of the tournament that it won’t be held. McQueen says the basketball tournaments generate 60% of the conference’s revenue.

The CIAA is the oldest African American athletic conference in the U.S. and covers five states. Members include seven colleges in North Carolina, including Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte.