Greensboro — As the world of sports is working to grapple with how to handle coronavirus (COVID-19), the NCAA made a significant move on Wednesday. The NCAA announced that this year’s men’s and women’s tournaments will take place without fans. According to a statement from NCAA President Mark Emmert, only essential staff and family members will be allowed to attend.
NCAA President Mark Emmert statement on limiting attendance at NCAA events: https://t.co/TIHHJjdse5 pic.twitter.com/8I1HdceDfN
— NCAA (@NCAA) March 11, 2020
Emmert notes that the NCAA consulted with public health officials on the decision. The women’s tournament is set to start next week — on Friday, March 20. The men’s tournament, on the other hand, will begin on March 17, a Tuesday.
Ahead of the NCAA’s announcement, the state of Ohio took action on its own.
The governor of Ohio further clarified: The state will issue an order that NCAA tournament games in Ohio, which included the First Four in Dayton, will be played without spectators.
— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) March 11, 2020
Update: Less than an hour after the NCAA’s decision, the ACC made an announcement pertaining to tonight’s games. Night session games for Wednesday night — Notre Dame-Boston College and Syracuse-North Carolina — will take place and include fans.
Tonight's #ACCTourney games at 7 and 9 p.m. will proceed as planned.
We are aware of the announcement by the @NCAA and will evaluate the remainder of the tournament. More information will be forthcoming.
— ACC Men's Basketball (@accmbb) March 11, 2020