This article was updated March 11, 2020 at 8:01 p.m.
NCAA President Mark Emmert announced on Wednesday afternoon, on the advice of the NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel, that the NCAA Tournament (and all championship events) will take place with only essential staff and limited family attendance. This means that spectators will not be allowed at any of the tournament games, but it also means that the kids who have worked so hard to reach the postseason will still have an opportunity to climb the highest mountain of their sport.
The full advisory panel statement:
The NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel recognizes the fluidity of COVID-19 and its impact on hosting events in a public space. COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in the United States, and behavioral risk mitigation strategies are the best option for slowing the spread of this disease. This is especially important because mildly symptomatic individuals can transmit COVID-19. Given these considerations, coupled with a more unfavorable outcome of COVID-19 in older adults – especially those with underlying chronic medical conditions – we recommend against sporting events open to the public. We do believe sport events can take place with only essential personnel and limited family attendance, and this protects our players, employees, and fans.
Coupled with the statement from Emmert:
Earlier today, the Ivy League, by unanimous decision of all eight Ivy League presidents, cancelled the entire balance of spring sports, including both practice and competition. It will be up to the individual schools on whether teams that already made it to the postseason would be allowed to compete.
The Ivy League Presidents are announcing their unanimous decision to cancel all spring athletics practice and competition through the remainder of the academic year amid further developments in the outbreak of COVID-19.— The Ivy League (@IvyLeague) March 11, 2020
» https://t.co/LVTUxHsswo pic.twitter.com/VAL7IkBWaB
While the Ivy League is expected to request redshirt seasons for all requested athletes to give them a fifth year of eligibility, there’s no word on whether any of the previously held competitions would be vacated. Virginia men’s lacrosse is currently 4-2 on the season, with both losses coming to Ivy League schools, Princeton and Brown. Women’s lacrosse defeated No, 9 Princeton, but has nothing else on the schedule.
The baseball team went 3-0 against Dartmouth earlier in the season. They still have games scheduled against Cornell on March 31 and April 1.
So far, the ACC Tournament has proceeded under normal protocols, with plenty of spectators in attendance. Virginia plays Thursday night, so we’ll be following with the latest and greatest.
Ivy League: "There's no way we can justify playing these games, even if there are no crowds. Just imagine the level of bacteria on the playing floor alone."— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) March 11, 2020
Update as of March 11, 2020 8:01 p.m.
Following the NCAA’s lead, the remainder of the ACC Tournament will be without any spectators.