March Madness canceled, other COVID-19 implications for sports

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The NCAA and BYU Athletics released news regarding the status of the NCAA March Madness basketball tournaments, men’s volleyball tournament and other NCAA championship tournaments and sporting events held on BYU campus.

“Today, NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors canceled the Division I men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships. The decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities,” the NCAA press release said.

These announcements affect all championship tournaments that would have taken place during the winter and spring months. Specific to BYU, the men’s basketball team, men’s volleyball team and track and field teams would have all been participating in their respective championship tournaments. If the final standings are taken as of March 12, BYU men’s volleyball would finish with as the nation’s No. 1 team, while men’s basketball would finish with a No. 14 ranking and women’s track and field would finish with a No. 9 ranking.

BYU also announced that it would be taking measures in the form of canceling all sporting events on BYU campus while suspending them until further notice, in addition to cancelling all gatherings beginning on March 16.

“Effective immediately, all athletic events on BYU’s campus will be suspended,” BYU said in a press release. “Beginning March 16, all gathering for performances, concerts, public lectures and conferences will be canceled until further notice.”

Additionally, BYU football has announced that all practices and media interactions have been cancelled for the week of March 9 through March 15. Members of the media, like the public, are not permitted to attend any sporting event on BYU campus.

“Only participants, coaches and essential staff will be allowed to attend. Members of the media will not be allowed to attend, but media desiring to cover an event remotely should contact BYU Athletic Communications for assistance,” the press release stated.  

Home games that will be immediately affected are as follows:

BYU baseball vs. Loyola Marymount — March 12-14
Gymnastics vs. Southern Utah — March 14
Women’s tennis vs. Saint Mary’s and Pacific — March 14 and March 21
BYU softball invitational — March 19-21
Men’s tennis — March 27-28
Men’s volleyball vs. Grand Canyon — April 2

The announcement will also affect the remainder of spring practices for BYU football in addition to the March 28th spring game at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

This story is developing and will be updated.

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