NCAA Tournaments Will Be Played Without Fans Due To Coronavirus Fears
On Wednesday evening, the NCAA made the unprecedented decision to hold its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments without fans because of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement to reporters,
“The NCAA continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 in consultation with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel. Based on their advice and my discussions with the NCAA Board of Governors, I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance.”
The president continued, “While I understand how disappointing this is for all fans of our sports, my decision is based on the current understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the United States. This decision is in the best interest of public health, including that of coaches, administrators, fans and, most importantly, our student-athletes. We recognize the opportunity to compete in an NCAA national championship is an experience of a lifetime for the students and their families. Today, we will move forward and conduct championships consistent with the current information and will continue to monitor and make adjustments as needed.”
This news came our soon after Ohio’s Gov. Mike DeWine (R) placed a ban that would prevent fans from going to NCAA events in Cleveland and the first four games in Dayton.
Multiple sporting events and associations are making the decision to not allow the public into professional or collegiate games because of the drastic spread of the virus. This includes the Golden State Warriors, European Soccer Leagues, and other collegiate conferences around the country.