Is The NCAA Tournament Cancelled Over Coronavirus?
Is the NCAA Tournament getting cancelled over coronavirus? As of Thursday morning, the answer is no. But that is obviously subject to change.
On Wednesday, NCAA president Mark Emmert released a statement essentially saying things were going to proceed.
“I think we’re going to have to shut down March Madness until we know more.” —Charles Barkley pic.twitter.com/hfogDJlYNl
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) March 12, 2020
“The NCAA continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 in consultation with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel,” he said.
“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.
“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,” he continued.
“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.”
ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas took exception to this move, citing the NBA’s suspension of the season.
“When the pros say they’re not playing because of a public health issue it strikes me as a bad look to trot out amateurs to play for money,” he said.
TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley agreed.
“I think we’re going to have to shut down March Madness until we know more,” Barkley said.
Thursday will be a big day. If the tournament ultimately ends up getting cancelled, that is when it will undoubtedly happen.