NCAA Says No March Madness Due To Covid-19

By Ben Hamill - March 13 2020
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NCAA Says No March Madness Due To Covid-19

The Coronavirus pandemic is negatively impacting sports in so many ways right now that it’s becoming difficult to keep count. The latest news is that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has called off March Madness and has banned fans from attending the usual annual athletics melee. This in an attempt to help contain Covid-19 as it makes its way across US states and the world.

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The NCAA on Wednesday announced that all upcoming championship events will be played without actual fans in attendance. Important upcoming events include the men’s and women’s Division I basketball tournaments. The decision was taken upon advice and recommendations received from a Covid-19 advisory panel tasked with overseeing the pandemic.

Rudy Gobert Tests Positive0

The NBA too, on Wednesday pulled the plug indefinitely on league play after the news broke that Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert had tested positively for the virus. League officials made the call to postpone only minutes ahead of Oklahoma City’s Thunder and Utah Jazz tipping off their NBA league game.

The initial information handed down was simply that a player, who later on turned out to be Gobert, had fallen ill. The nature of the illness was initially unspecified. The league announced its decision to call a halt on all games until further notice came only minutes after the news broke that Gobert, despite the fact that he apparently felt well enough to play, had in actual fact contracted the Coronavirus.

Majority Of Games Called Off

Conferences have each been making their own decisions regarding post-season as well as other important events, based on each conference’s analysis of the information currently at hand regarding Covid-19.

The Ivy League and The Big Ten both cancelled all spring sports events due to the pandemic nature of the Coronavirus. The Ivy League had been first to call off all activities until further notice. The Big Ten initially said that it would be willing to take a chance by allowing at least the post-season men’s tournament to go ahead as planned, which decision included that of allowing the thousands of fans already in possession of tickets, to attend the tournament.

The decision however did not last very long and by later on that same day, The Big Ten had completely back-pedalled on the prior announcement, saying that since it had come into new information, it would severely limit attendance starting with games played as early as the following day, which was Thursday.

Various other leagues and conferences have since followed suit.

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