Following the NBA’s move to suspend its season Wednesday following news of a player testing positive for coronavirus, the NCAA announced it canceling the March Madness basketball tournament. The NHL and PGA Tour also announced suspensions and MLB said it would delay its season start.
In a statement, the NCAA said, “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.”
The NBA in a tweet decided to suspend its remaining month of games after learning that a player had tested positive for coronavirus. The player was later found out to be Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert.
The league’s quick-to-the-point press release said: “The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of [Wednesday’s] schedule of games until further notice. The NBA will use this hiatus to determine the next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”
In a statement Thursday, the NHL said, “The NHL has been attempting to follow the mandates of health experts and local authorities, while preparing for any possible developments without taking premature or unnecessary measures. However, following last night’s news that an NBA player has tested positive for coronavirus — and given that our leagues share so many facilities and locker rooms and it now seems likely that some member of the NHL community would test positive at some point — it is no longer appropriate to try to continue to play games at this time.
“We will continue to monitor all the appropriate medical advice, and we will encourage our players and other members of the NHL community to take all reasonable precautions — including by self-quarantine, where appropriate. Our goal is to resume play as soon as it is appropriate and prudent, so that we will be able to complete the season and award the Stanley Cup. Until then, we thank NHL fans for your patience and hope you stay healthy.”
MLB said in a statement that Opening Day will be delayed at least two weeks and spring training games are canceled.
MLB said in part, “MLB and the Clubs have been preparing a variety of contingency plans regarding the 2020 regular season schedule. MLB will announce the effects on the schedule at an appropriate time and will remain flexible as events warrant, with the hope of resuming normal operations as soon as possible. Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our players, employees and fans. MLB will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts. We send our best wishes to all individuals and communities that have been impacted by coronavirus.”
The 2020 Players Championship has been canceled amid concern surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, the PGA Tour announced on Thursday evening following the conclusion of Round 1. Additionally, all PGA Tour events between now and the Masters have been canceled.
“It is with regret that we are announcing the cancellation of The Players Championship. We have also decided to cancel all PGA Tour events – across all of our Tours – in the coming weeks, through the Valero Texas Open,” the PGA Tour said in a statement.
“We have pledged from the start to be responsible, thoughtful and transparent with our decision process. We did everything possible to create a safe environment for our players in order to continue the event throughout the weekend, and we were endeavoring to give our fans a much-needed respite from the current climate. But at this point — and as the situation continues to rapidly change — the right thing to do for our players and our fans is to pause.”
The LPGA also announced on Thursday that it’s postponing its next three events, including its first major of the season the ANA Inspiration.
Photo courtesy University Of Kansas