The NCAA is canceling “March Madness” in accordance to the coronavirus outbreak, NCAA president Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors announced Thursday. The NCAA is also canceling all remaining winter and spring championships.
On Wednesday, Emmert initially stated that the men’s and women’s tournaments would be played without fans in attendance, and that only “essential staff and limited family” would be allowed to attend.
The NBA announced Wednesday that it would be suspending its season after UTAH Jazz Center Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus, which was characterized as a national pandemic by the World Health Organization. The NBA’s decision since has had a domino effect across all sports.
On Thursday, the Power 5 leagues–the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC and Pac-12–canceled their men’s basketball conference tournaments within minutes of each other. Conference USA, MAC, America East, Big Sky, WAC, American, and the Big East all announced the cancellations of their conference tournaments as well.
Major League Baseball announced that it will delay the start of the regular season at least two weeks in response to COVID-19. Spring Training games have also been canceled as of 4 p.m. EST, the MLB said in a statement Thursday.
The National Hockey League put a halt to the season Thursday afternoon after initially advising all teams “not to conduct morning skate, practices, or team meetings.” Major League Soccer released a statement Thursday, as well, suspending play for 30 days.
The Professional Golf Association Player’s Championship will be played but without fans in attendance, PGA Tour commission Jay Monahan announced. NASCAR will conduct themselves similarly, without fans in attendance.