NCAA Cancels March Madness as Pro Sports Leagues Take Hiatus
After initially stating that the NCAA National Tournament will be played out in empty arenas, the NCAA announced that it has cancelled this year’s March Madness.
The announcement comes off the heels of the NBA, NHL, and MLS suspending their seasons due to the growing concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. The MLB has also announced that it has effective immediately cancelled spring training and will delay the start of the regular season by at least two weeks.
— NCAA (@NCAA) March 12, 2020
The following statement was released today by the NCAA:
“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. This 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.”
Earlier today, the ACC, SEC, BIG East, and Pac-10 conference tournaments were cancelled.
Opting to cancel the remainder of the tournaments as opposed to postpone play has left student athletes at a loss as many collegiate careers have subsequently ended with the latest announcement. The news of cancellation were met with both outcry and disappointment as athletes now must remain hopeful that the NCAA overturns their decision and resumes play once the virus is contained.
Today, has most definitely been one of the hardest day in professional sports in quite some time.