As entities across the world are taking precautions amidst the recent outbreak of COVID-19, better known as coronavirus, the NCAA has taken their own steps ahead of their biggest annual event.
In a statement released on Twitter, NCAA President Mark Emmert announced that fans will not be allowed to attend this year’s upcoming championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments with only essential personnel and family members present at games.
“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,” Emmert said. “The decision is in the best interest of public health, including that of coaches, administrators, fans and, most importantly, our student-athletes.”
Before heading on to the “Big Dance,” West Virginia men’s basketball has a second-round matchup in the Big 12 Tournament against Oklahoma on Thursday. The conference is still planning to go forward with the tournament with additional preventive measures, however commissioner Bob Bowlsby told CBS Sports on Tuesday that the decision to play without fans could still be made.