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NCAA championship events will take place with no fans

A look inside U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis, site of the 2020 NCAAs (Photo/Trex Commercial Products)

In an unprecedented move, the NCAA announced late Wednesday afternoon that its national sports championships -- including the 2020 NCAA championships in all three divisions -- will be closed to fans, and open only to athletes, coaches, limited families and essential staff, due to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Mark Emmert, NCAA President, issued the following statement:

"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 discussion with the NCAA Board of Governors, I have made the decision to conduct upcoming championship events with only essential staff and limited family attendance. While I understand how disappointing this is for 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 the coaches, administrators, and, most importantly, our student-athletes. We recognize the opportunity to compete in an NCAA national championship is an experience of a lifetime for students and their families. Today we will move forward and conduct the championships consistent with current information and will continue to monitor and make adjustments as needed."

In the years since the first NCAA Wrestling Championships took place at Iowa State in 1928, the only time the Nationals were not was during World War II. The mat championships were suspended from 1942 through 1945. The event resumed in March 1946.

The World Health Organization called the coronavirus a pandemic on Wednesday.

"This is the first pandemic caused by coronavirus," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared at a briefing in Geneva.

On Wednesday, the Ivy League announced a decision to cancel all spring athletics practice and competition through the remainder of the academic year amid further developments.

Comments

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Manning (1) about 9 months ago
This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life! The flu itself kills thousands of people every year, and this corona virus is shutting everything down! If it’s a pandemic then my job is safe to tell them I won’t be back to work till it’s lifted right? Nobody shall leave their house and be around other people? What’s this country comin to?
Brazil06 (2) about 9 months ago
Manning- it’s not rocket science. There is not a cure for this. We know very little about it. These diseases often morph into worse versions, we don’t know if it exists in warm weather where the flu does not. Btw tons of businesses are starting to take precautions. Sorry if you think it’s “bs”. I just got back from the big tens and 2 days after the tourney , Rutgers shut down. Glad I saw the tourney, would have been pissed if they cancelled,but it’s the right thing to do. Glad we have more diligent folks making decisions than you.
Beicher (1) about 9 months ago
Will we get our tickets refunded?
jimusmith (1) about 9 months ago
Will the NCAA be refunding the ticket money back to the fans?
cradleman (1) about 9 months ago
Some of you folks clamoring about not being able to attend are probably the same ones that think skin issues are ok to conceal. I'm as disappointed as the next because this is an annual Reunion for most of us but you can't be an idiot. If they said take your chances I might be the one to do so but I'm also ok with the idea that this might be more serious than most of us had hoped.
ban basketball (1) about 9 months ago
All well and good by me! I've always saved myself a grand every year by watching it in the comforts of my own home anyway. No crowds, no parking hassles, no lines for beer, no hotel and travel expenses, and, best of all, no ignorant fans to be around!

What's NOT to love about this move!?