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Bethune-Cookman to sit out spring seasons, no Florida Classic will be played

Bethune Cookman quarterback Jabari Dunham (9) talks in the huddle during the second half of an...
Bethune Cookman quarterback Jabari Dunham (9) talks in the huddle during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Miami, Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Miami won 41-13. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)(Lynne Sladky | AP)
Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 11:04 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Florida A&M’s spring athletic matchups against arch-rival Bethune-Cookman will not be played this coming athletic season.

B-CU sitting out the season means there will be no Florida Classic played in the spring of 2021.

In a letter from B-CU President E. LaBrent Chrite obtained by WCTV, the university cites the “recent spike in COVID-19 positivity rates in the state, across Volusia County and on our campus," as the reason for not playing this coming spring.

As of 11 a.m. on Monday, Volusia County had 12,520 cases of COVID-19 cases, including 1,009 new cases of coronavirus in the last two weeks.

Last week, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference released the 2021 conference schedules for the football and basketball season. FAMU was set to face B-CU on ten separate occasions across the three sports:

  • January 2: FAMU @ B-CU (men’s and women’s basketball)
  • Jan. 27: B-CU @ FAMU (men’s and women’s basketball)
  • February 15: FAMU @ B-CU (men’s and women’s basketball)
  • Feb. 27: B-CU @ FAMU (men’s and women’s basketball)
  • March 6: FAMU @ B-CU (football)
  • April 10: B-CU @ FAMU (football)

This season will mark the first time since 1949 that the two programs will not play against one another in football. FAMU and B-CU have met every year since 1950 and the game has been known as the Florida Classic since 1978.

The Rattlers and Wildcats will be reunited in 2021, when B-CU and FAMU both join the Southwestern Athletic Conference next summer.

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