Full Shutdown For Big 12 2020 Spring Competition; Relief Potential For Those Affected
The wave of cancellations keeps growing in the sports world, and the flooding has now inundated the entire spring landscape. The Big 12 has announced that all team activities, whether organized or voluntary, including team and individual practices, meetings, and other gatherings, have been suspended until March 29. That was accompanied by the cancellation of all conference and non-conference competitions through the end of the academic year, including spring sports that compete beyond the academic year.
The announcement did leave a bit of room for the potential resumption of out-of-season practices and workouts after March 29, but that appears very unlikely at this juncture, given predictions of the advance of COVID-19.
The NCAA also announced a ban on in-person recruiting through April 15.
WVU Director of Athletics Shane Lyons called the decisions a “necessity.”
“The announcement by the Big 12 to cancel the spring competition season is certainly disappointing but also is a necessity. We must take all precautions to ensure the health and safety of the league’s Universities, student-athletes and communities. The events of the past week have brought much sadness to our student-athletes, coaches and fans, but we must do our part to keep everyone safe.”
The shuttering of all play for spring sports, as well as championship events, was a huge blow to the players and coaches currently in the midst of their seasons. Two of West Virginia’s spring sports coaches weighed in with prepared statements, beginning with baseball’s Randy Mazey.
— WVU Baseball (@WVUBaseball) March 14, 2020
WVU Golf coach Sean Covich expressed similar sentiments.
— WVU Golf (@WVUGolf) March 13, 2020
One bit of solace does remain, as the NCAA has announced that some form of relief is being worked on for those in spring sports that had their seasons cut short. Details of how that will work are still being formulated, with the NCAA noting that a number of issues, such as scholarship limitations, will be addressed in “the coming days and weeks.”
Of the spring sports and championships sponsored by the NCAA, West Virginia has teams in baseball, golf, rowing, tennis and track & field, and lists 18 seniors on its rosters for the current year.
The NCAA has also indicated it will discuss potential relief for those affected in winter sports who were not able to compete in conference or NCAA championships, but a formal decision on that is still to be made.
“The committee recognizes that student-athletes are making life decisions that will be helped by understanding whether an additional season of competition would be available, and as such, will work in a timely manner to make informed decisions,” the NCAA Division I Council Coordination Committee said in a letter to member schools. “The committee will review and discuss the additional issues in a timely manner and decisions will be communicated to the membership as they are made.”
WVU also announced that information on refunds for tickets purchased for spring sports will be forthcoming in the next week. That applies only to tickets purchased through the WVU Ticket Office.