There will be no more college championships for the remainder of this academic year. It’s increasingly likely that we won’t see any sports at all until the fall. After a flurry of suspensions and cancellations by professional leagues and individual schools and conferences, the NCAA was the final shoe to drop. For now.
The NCAA issued the following statement just after 4pm on Thursday.
“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.”
Division II Regionals Canceled
Seven HBCUs were prepared to play in the NCAA Division II Basketball Regionals in various locations this weekend. Those games are now canceled. The Miles College men’s basketball team departed Alabama at 5 am on Thursday. The team had arrived in Florida when the news broke.
Some schools, like Winston Salem State University and Bowie State, had already removed their student-athletes from competition. These schools, among others across the country, made their decisions independent of any conference mandates.
SWAC and MEAC cancel spring sports
As of 5pm on Thursday, the SWAC and the MEAC had already canceled their basketball tournaments and suspended spring activities for its member institutions.
The SWAC announced that all spring sports would be suspended until at least March 31. The MEAC went a step further saying that all spring sports competitions are being suspended through the end of the Spring 2020 semester.
As time goes along it seems readily apparent that we will not see any more sports this academic year. Alabama State announced late Thursday afternoon that it’s canceling all spring sports for the rest of the year. That date extends beyond what the SWAC announced.
No school could possibly have anything to gain by breaking ranks with the precedent that continues to be set. Especially in the face of a worldwide pandemic crisis. As individual schools begin to cancel their spring sports it leaves no infrastructure in place to continue on.
As of now neither the CIAA or the SIAC has issued a league wide announcement regarding the cancellation of spring sports. The CIAA did announce it was advising schools to limit spectators, but that was prior to the NCAA’s latest announcement.
We will update this story as information continues to develop.