NCAA president announces March Madness will be held with no fans in attendance due to coronavirus
March Madness will take place without fans in stands.
NCAA President Mark Emmert released a statement Wednesday announcing that upcoming championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments affectionately known as March Madness, will restrict attendance to only essential staff and limited family attendance.
“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. We recognize the opportunity to compete in an NCAA national championship is an experience of a lifetime for the students and their families. Today, we will move forward and conduct championships consistent with current information and will continue to monitor and make adjustments as needed,” Emmert’s statement read.
With the attendance restrictions, it is currently unclear if media will be attending March Madness.
I’ve been told that the NCAA still hasn’t determined whether media will be allowed at the NCAA Tournament.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) March 11, 2020
The news comes shortly after Ohio governor Mike DeWine had announced that an order limiting mass gatherings would mean that First Four in Dayton and March 20-22 games in Cleveland would be played without fans. The Ivy League has also shut down all remaining spring sports practices and games.
The SEC used its official Twitter account to say that its men’s basketball tournament in Nashville will continue as regularly scheduled.
The @SEC is aware of the statement just released by the @NCAA. Tonight’s SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament games will continue as regularly scheduled. We are evaluating plans for the remainder of the tournament. More to come.
— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) March 11, 2020