MIAMIA, Okla. — Despite hosting an annual basketball tournament for the past 75 years, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College is canceling their upcoming 76th event.

The decision comes after NEO President, Dr. Kyle Stafford said it was “in the best interest of [the] faculty, staff, students, and potential guests” in light of the recent COVID surge.

Thousands of athletes and fans attend the tournament every year, said NEO. The popularity and high attendance of the event was therefore a major contributing factor in the decision to cancel the event originally set for January 20-22nd.

Low attendance activities will still be hosted, however. But NEO said they will continue to monitor the local COVID outbreak.