Langston University President Kent Smith Jr. says the Langston Lions will not participate in fall sports this upcoming season, including football, due to safety concerns with COVID-19.
“We have made the difficult decision that Langston University will not participate in collegiate athletics during the Fall 2020 season,” Smith said in a letter sent out on Friday morning. “This decision was made in consultation with the Sooner Athletic Conference.”
Smith continued in his letter, “The last few months have been among the most challenging we have faced, likely in our lifetimes. I am tremendously proud of our response to an unprecedented scale.”
The sports affected with football include, volleyball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and track and field. In addition, the cheer team and band will not perform in the fall.
“We recognize the deep disappointment this will bring to our student athletes and Marching Pride members,” Smith added.
The university is also canceling all in-person homecoming festivities.
“This decision, though disappointing, was made in the best interest of our community to forego an on-campus homecoming experience,” Smith said.
Hybird Course Delivery
The university will hold hybrid courses where possible for the fall semester to allow more classroom work to be done online.
“This strategy will also eliminate the Distance Learning Fee for courses utilizing the hybrid design, providing a further cost savings for our students,” Smith said.
On campus instruction will continue with social distancing measures in place.
The first day of classes will begin Aug. 17 and end on Nov. 20.
The school plans to honor the Class of 2020 with a commencement on Saturday, Nov. 21, but will evaluate the circumstances and have a formal plan sometime in October.
“As leaders we must, to the best of our ability, work to protect those within our care. This requires thoughtful planning, risk analysis, and decision-making centered around the safety of our community,” said Smith.