With the fate of the NCAA tournament in peril, Duke announced on Thursday that it is suspending all athletic competition indefinitely. In the days that followed, fellow schools and conferences have joining in halting all sports-related activities.
News of the decision arrived after the ACC and all other major conferences canceled their championship tournaments earlier Thursday. The NCAA announced it was canceling its winter and spring championships hours later.
Conference tournaments canceled
The NCAA announced on Wednesday that it would conduct its tournament without fans in stadiums. But the sports landscape has dramatically shifted since that announcement with the NBA deciding Wednesday night to suspend its season after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was reportedly diagnosed with COVID-19.
Kansas shuts down travel, athletic events
Shortly after Duke’s announcement, Kansas athletics announced that it is canceling all athletic travel indefinitely and suspending home and away competition. The Jayhawks are the anticipated No. 1 overall seed for the tournament.
The NCAA has yet to make an announcement since the NBA’s decision and canceled conference tournaments.
ACC suspends all athletics indefinitely
The ACC announced later Thursday it suspended all athletics, including participation in NCAA championships, “until further notice.”
Statement from the Atlantic Coast Conference:— The ACC (@theACC) March 12, 2020
“The Atlantic Coast Conference has suspended all athletic related activities including all competition, formal and organized practice, recruiting and participation in NCAA championships until further notice."
Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement:
“This is uncharted territory and the health and safety of our student-athletes and institutions remains our top priority. This decision is aimed to protect from the further spread of COVID-19.”
The ACC has a dozen teams expected to make the field in the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments set to begin next week. The edict also applies to practices and recruiting.
Big Ten suspends athletics until April 6
The Big Ten joined the ACC in suspending all athletic activity, including practices, and put a moratorium on on and off-campus recruiting.
Unlike other entities, the Big Ten has given a target re-start date of April 6. The conference said it will re-evaluate the situation at that time.
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