March Emptiness

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NCAA Announces March Madness Games to be Played in Empty Arenas

As the spread of the coronavirus continues throughout the United States, the NCAA released a statement regarding its upcoming men’s and women’s National Tournament.

March Madness will most definitely not have the same feel this year as in year’s past.

“The NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel recognizes the fluidity of COVID-19 and its impact on hosting events in a public space,” said NCAA president Mark Emmert. “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.”

Earlier in the week the Ivy League cancelled its conference tournament and announced that regular season champions Yale (men’s) and Princeton (women’s) will proceed to the National Tournament.

“With the health of students as well as the campus and the general community in mind,” the Ivy League said in a statement about the decision to cancel. “The decision has been made in accordance with the guidance of public health and medical professionals to discourage and limit large gatherings on campuses in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.”

On Wednesday night, the NBA announced that it will be suspending the season until further notice when Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. It is unknown at this time if the NCAA will follow suit and postpone the national tournament.

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