NCAA faces pressure to hold March Madness without audience


The Virginia Cavaliers tip off from the UMBC Retrievers in the to start with round of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Event at Spectrum Middle on March 16, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Streeter Lecka | Getty Illustrations or photos

The Nationwide School Gamers Affiliation is calling on the NCAA to contemplate keeping the March Madness men’s basketball tournament devoid of an viewers in get to shield players from the coronavirus.

“In the wake of the rising coronavirus pandemic, the NCAA and its colleges must consider safety measures to safeguard college athletes,” the team mentioned in a statement released Saturday.  

“In regard to the NCAA’s March Madness Tournament and other athletic situations, there need to be a severe discussion about keeping competitions without having an viewers present,” the team additional.

The National Faculty Players Affiliation, a nonprofit team that advocates for school athletes, also identified as for the NCAA to cancel satisfy-and-greets and press functions that would put players in get hold of with crowds. 

The NCAA could not be immediately reached for comment. 

There are a lot more than 60 verified scenarios of the coronavirus nationwide. Washington state verified the initial U.S. dying from the virus on Saturday. 

The NCAA will reveal the bracket with the 68 groups competing in the match on March 15, identified as Choice Sunday, with the very first 4 online games held on March 17 and 18 at the College of Dayton in Ohio. 

Browse the entire statement: 

Countrywide College or university Players Association’s Assertion on Coronavirus and College or university Athlete Health:

“In the wake of the emerging coronavirus pandemic, the NCAA and its faculties should choose safeguards to secure university athletes.  They must also make community which steps will be taken and when.  Safeguards need to include cancelling all auxiliary activities that set gamers in get in touch with with crowds this sort of as meet up with and greets  and press events.  Athletic plans should really also acquire each individual probable measure to sanitize buses and airplanes employed to transport players.


In regard to the NCAA’s March Insanity Event and other athletic situations, there ought to be a major discussion about holding competitions with no an audience present.

Google just cancelled a summit in California and Amazon is encouraging its workers to stay away from all nonessential journey simply because of coronavirus considerations.  The NCAA and its schools will have to act now, there is no time to waste.”



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