In response to the developing concern for COVID-19 in the United States, the NCAA Board of Governors and president Mark Emmert announced the cancelation of the Division 1 men’s and women’s basketball tournament in addition to the remaining winter and spring sports championships.
“This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to [the] 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 NCAA said via Twitter.
The announcement by the NCAA doesn’t signify the complete cancelation of winter and spring sports seasons — just the NCAA championships. The impacted sports include men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, equestrian, swimming and diving, softball, gymnastics, track and field, tennis and golf. The respective seasons could still be postponed and played at a later date since the NCAA’s decision only concerns the sports championships.
The initial decision by Emmert regarding the NCAA Tournament came on March 11 and allowed only “essential staff and limited family attendance,” but the new policy cancels tournaments altogether.
The NCAA’s announcement follows previous decisions made by the SEC, Big Ten, ACC, Pac-12 and Big East to cancel their respective men’s basketball conference tournaments.