NCAA Tournament Games To Be Played Without Fans
The NCAA’s males’s basketball event, one of many nation’s most-watched TV sporting occasions, can be performed this yr in largely empty arenas out of issues for the widening coronavirus pandemic.
“The NCAA continues to evaluate the impression of COVID-19 in session with public well being officers and our COVID-19 advisory panel. Primarily based on their recommendation and my discussions with the NCAA Board of Governors, I’ve made the choice to conduct our upcoming championship occasions, together with the Division I males’s and girls’s basketball tournaments, with solely important employees and restricted household attendance,” NCAA President Mark Emmert stated Wednesday.
Earlier within the day, the advisory panel advocate towards sporting occasions open to the general public, suggesting “occasions can happen with solely important personnel and restricted household attendance,” which “protects the gamers, workers and followers.”
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That stance had been completely different solely the day earlier than, however extra public occasions are being canceled by the hour owing to the rising circumstances of COVID-19. The CDC says there are nearly 1,000 circumstances within the U.S. now in 39 states, with 29 confirmed deaths. The worldwide whole of deaths simply crossed 4,000.
The 68-team males’s event kicks of March 17 and March 18 with play-in sport in Dayton, Ohio, the primary of 13 cities internet hosting video games this yr. The event is being televised by CBS Sports activities and Turner as a part of their present 14-year $10.eight billion rights deal. That’s been renewed although 2032 at greater than $1B a yr.
“Whereas I perceive how disappointing that is for all followers of our sports activities, my choice relies on the present understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the USA,” he continued. “This choice is in the perfect curiosity of public well being, together with that of coaches, directors, followers and, most significantly, our student-athletes. We acknowledge the chance to compete in an NCAA nationwide championship is an expertise of a lifetime for the scholars and their households. Right now, we’ll transfer ahead and conduct championships in keeping with the present info and can proceed to watch and make changes as wanted.”