The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Joel Odom 

Fans banned from NCAA tourneys, due to coronavirus fears


March 11, 2020

Update: The tournaments have been canceled. Via a release from 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."

The 2020 NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will be played in empty arenas because of coronavirus fears, the NCAA announced Wednesday.

The decision will apply to the Eastern New Mexico University women’s basketball team‘s game against Texas A&M.Commerce Friday afternoon in the South Central Regional at Lubbock Christian University.

The move comes after an NCAA advisory panel’s recommendation against sporting events open to the public and follows changes to sporting events around the world in the wake of the virus’ outbreak.

“Based on their advice and my discussions with the NCAA Board of Governors, I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. "While I understand how disappointing this is for all fans of our sports, my decision is based on the current understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the United States. This decision is in the best interest of public health, including that of coaches, administrators, fans and, most importantly, our student-athletes.”


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