How coronavirus is impacting NCAA tournaments, sports in Connecticut

Coronavirus

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(WTNH) — NCAA President Mark Emmert announced Thursday afternoon that the Board of Governors canceled the March Madness basketball tournament, as well as the remaining winter and springtime 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,” a news release said.

On Thursday, UConn Athletics has decided to suspend all athletics activities indefinitely. Officials said the action is consistent with the directive to suspend all spring sports competition, which was announced earlier today by the American Athletic Conference. 

Geno Auriemma, head coach of UConn woman’s basketball, released the following statement:

This is incredibly disappointing in so many ways for so many people. The players, first and foremost, as well as every fan in the country. This is especially disappointing for our five seniors. They have been working so hard for this opportunity. We’ve been playing our best basketball these past six games and I’m sure they were looking forward to their final March Madness.

Having said that, I absolutely agree 100 percent with this decision. The welfare of our student-athletes supersedes any missed opportunity to compete in any sport. Sacrificing what’s good for a few for the greater good of many is what teamwork is all about.

The ACC made the same decision Wednesday evening. All games will be played with only essential tournament personnel, limited school administrators, student-athlete guests, broadcast television and credentialed media members present.

The Ivy League also announced Wednesday that all spring sports will be canceled for the semester, which will impact several teams and student-athletes at Yale.

The Ivy League Presidents announced that their decision came in a unanimous vote.

In that statement, they also announced that: “Individual institutions will decide whether or not winter teams and student-athletes who have qualified for postseason play will participate.”

The Yale men’s basketball team qualified for the NCAA Tournament when the League announced Tuesday that it was canceling its postseason tournament.  

The University of Bridgeport announced earlier Wednesday that NCAA Division II East Regional games will be played on campus this weekend with no spectators in the crowd.

According to the statement, University officials made the decision based on Governor Lamont’s declaration of a State of Emergency Tuesday.

There are four games scheduled to be played on site this Saturday, starting at noon.

Trinity College announced that the New England Small College Athletic Conference presidents met and concluded unanimously that conference competition, including conference championships, will be canceled for the 2020 spring season. 

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