COVID-19 Threat To Close WVU, Athletics In Question


COVID-19 Threat To Close WVU, Athletics In Question

West Virginia University president E. Gordon Gee announced the imminent closure of the State’s flagship institution on Tuesday night, and school athletics officials said that the effects on programs in the midst of competition seasons are still to be determined.


Classes at WVU for the remainder of this week, ending on Friday, March 13, will take place as scheduled,  but the school will then close for spring break (March 14-22). After that, WVU will suspend in-person classes the week of March 23-27. Beginning Monday, March 30, class instruction will be delivered remotely via online or other alternative learning options.

While athletic events are not the major area of concern in this decision, there is, without question, a lot to take in and consider in that arena. West Virginia director of athletics Shane Lyons told that he is already gathering information from his coaches and administration, and will conduct more meetings and talks on Wednesday morning in Kansas City.

“We aren’t ready to make a decision yet, but we will be talking with other schools here, and look at what other schools and conferences are doing across the country,” Lyons said. “We will gather as much information as we can before making a decision. We hope to have more on Wednesday.”

At potential stake are both regular season and postseason competitions. Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams are in Kansas City for their respective championships, and WVU has wrestler Noah Adams slated to attend the NCAAs next week. Baseball season is underway, with a home game scheduled for Wednesday, and spring football practice, which began this week, has two more days scheduled before halting for spring break week. A potential hosting of a women’s NIT game or games is also in the crosshairs.

Baseball SID Joe Mitchin said he had not been informed of any potential changes to the baseball schedule as of yet, but that will clearly be part of Lyons’ difficult decision-making process.

“We have a call tomorrow to discuss that further,” WVU football sports information director Mike Montoro said of the potential impact on spring football. “As of right now we will proceed as expected for the remainder of the week.”

West Virginia’s rifle team is also scheduled to travel to Lexington, Kentucky, for the NCAA Championships, which take place this Friday and Saturday.

A Q & A posted on WVU’s coronavirus web site ( indicated that this week’s athletics competitions would be played.

Q. Is WVU planning to cancel any events, either athletic or otherwise? And what about gatherings on campus, including special events etc.?

A. Events through the end of this week (March 15) will continue as planned.

Decisions made at the conference level could, however, overrule that, as could decisions made as a result of the meetings, discussions and information gathered Wednesday morning and beyond.

While WVU works to lay out its plans for the coming weeks, it is faced with a wide array of options that have been implemented by schools and leagues, not to mention a number of mxed messages. The Ivy League entirely cancelled its postseason hoops tournaments, while the MAC and Big West will play their conference hoops tournaments without fans. The Big 12 implemented the odd measure of keeping media some 10-12 feet away from players on the court and banning locker room interviews, but has not announced any measures for its games.

On an individual basis, USC and UCLA have both banned fans from home events, while a number of other schools have also suspended classes.

The NCAA has a whole has taken something of a hands off approach, leaving the decision of restrictions and cancellations to leagues and teams.

Also still to be sorted out is the issue of travel. Gee’s announcement contained a reference to a web site with more information, and there, in bold letters, a statement cancelling all domestic and international travel, “unless approved” through March 30 is displayed. That, of course would affect every West Virginia athletic program still in session.

For now, at least through Friday, it appears as if athletics will continue as scheduled. The baseball home game on Wednesday is still on. West Virginia’s men’s basketball team will practice Wednesday morning at both the Sprint Center and another site, as is its norm in Kansas City. The women’s team is set to practice on Wednesday and have a shootaround on Thursday at the Municipal Auditorium before its games on Friday.

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    COVID-19 Threat To Close WVU, Athletics In Question West Virginia University president E.Gordon Gee announced the imminent closure of the State’s flag
    [See the full post at: COVID-19 Threat To Close WVU, Athletics In Question]


    I’m sorry but this country is going flipping stupid.  We already know the steps we should take to mitigate this, no different than mitigating any other virus.  Guess we are only happy if we have something to get hysterical about.


    This virus sprung up without much warning outside of a few folks in the scientific community who normally keep an eye on such things.  While data are beginning to suggest this virus is not much more deadly than the flu, it does  appear to be more infectious which will mean a higher number of  fatalities if the spread is not mitigated.

    Some institutions and conferences have seemed to over react, but at this stage who can second guess?  The fatalities seem to be more among the elderly and those with respiratory problems.  The young, particularly the healthy and fit college athlete would probably be able to overcome a potential infection.

    Spring sports moving to the outdoors may also lessen the chance of spread.


    From what I’ve been told, it’s very unlikely the Mountaineers will resume spring football practice on March 24, as currently scheduled, if the rest of the University is shutdown in terms of in-person classes that week. Neal Brown’s club will continue to practice for the next few days, but after spring break (March 14-22), it will probably not get back to a normal practice schedule until WVU resumes normal operations. WVU athletic officials are meeting today to decide the course of action for not only spring football practice but all other varsity sports currently in competition.


    The disease in China is now abating! The main reason is because of
    the massive shutdown ordered in all activities involving crowds!
    The flu death rate of .1% compared to 2 3% of coronavirus. Flu deaths
    of 20,000 or more a year tells us that many more millions have
    been infected by the flu, up to this date!!! Experts say that, unless steps are taken, there will be multiple jumps in the infections of
    the virus, thus driving up the death count. It’s a fact!
    The steps needed appear to be individual precautions and the
    elimination of propensity of infection opportunities in the form
    of mass crowd gatherings of any and all kinds!
    Will it be a decision between monetary or health benefits?
    What will the NCAA and/or individual conferences do!
    OHio has declared a state of emergency where the Governor
    has called for a cancellation of crowd events! With Dayton and
    Cleveland as sites for the tournament, what will happen?


    I am not sure how much I trust information coming out of China and it is not due to political views.

    However, if true it would give some direction on how to stop the spread.

    Tony Fauci gave the same advice to Congress today as reported by the Washington Post.


    On a personal note, I would hate to see the cancellation of the upcoming WVU sporting events since I am due to cover the Big 12 gymnastics tournament and WVU baseball season.


    All NCAA Championship Events to take place without fans

    Breaking: NCAA president Mark Emmert has announced that all championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, will take place with only essential staff and limited family in attendance.

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