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

NM governor: Watch state-tourney basketball online


March 11, 2020

SANTA FE — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham suggested fans and families follow New Mexico's high school basketball tournament online — rather than in person — as the state tries to limit a virus outbreak.

She said it was simply her advice, not a mandatory order. But limiting attendance at public gatherings will make it easier for New Mexico to slow the spread of COVID-19, she said.

"My advice to fans and family members — watch it on TV" or follow it on social media, the governor said of the basketball tournament. "The whole family should not go."

Some cities, counties and states across the country have already announced bans on large public gatherings, which will affect sporting events. While the governor on Wednesday advised against going to large sporting events in New Mexico, she did not institute any direct ban of them being held.

The University of New Mexico is hosting the two largest sporting events in the state this week. The majority of games in the New Mexico Activities Association's state high school basketball tournaments — boys and girls — are played in Dreamstyle Arena — the Pit. And scheduled for Friday and Saturday, UNM is the host institution for the 2020 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships, taking place at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

In both instances, UNM Athletic Director Eddie Nuñez told the Albuquerque Journal on Wednesday that following the governor's remarks, the university is in contact with medical experts, the NCAA, the NMAA and even the Mountain West Conference for collaboration with the hopes of a possible final decision and official statement released later in the day.

The NMAA, Nuñez said, is taking the lead on what to do about the basketball tournament with UNM stepping up cleaning its facility throughout the event with "extra precautions," he said.


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