NCAA Shuts Down All Spring & Summer Championships
It was an announcement most had anticipated all day, but it still seemed shocking when it finally came.
— NCAA (@NCAA) March 12, 2020
“NCAA cancels remaining winter and spring championships,” read the tweet from the NCAA.
With that ended the possibility of holding the 2020 NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournament – with or without fans – as well as any other remaining winter and spring championships.
It wasn’t just the Mountaineer men’s and women’s basketball teams which were affected.
WVU’s sophomore wrestler Noah Adams, who is ranked second in the country in the 197-pound weight class, was slated to compete in the NCAA Championships in Minneapolis next week, and the Mountaineer rifle team was headed to Lexington, Kentucky, for this weekend’s national championships with the hopes of winning a 20th NCAA title. The WVU-sponsored sports of baseball, gymnastics, tennis, track & field, golf, swimming & diving and rowing also are part of the cancellation.
All those dreams, and many others are now gone, as the U.S. and the entire world deal with the deadly COVID-19 virus outbreak.
“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,” tweeted the NCAA Thursday afternoon. “This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to the spread of the pandemic and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities.”
Obviously this is incredibly disappointing for all the student-athletes involved. WVU’s men’s basketball team featured three seniors – Chase Harler, Logan Routt and Jermaine Haley – who will miss out an opportunity to lead their Mountaineers into the NCAA Tournament in their final collegiate season.
“SMH (shaking my head), this is what we worked all year for, all the hard work, just for a chance to do something special,” tweeted Mountaineer junior Gabe Osabuohien after receiving the news of the NCAA cancellation.
West Virginia sophomore Emmitt Matthews followed with an “all the hours we put in.”
“Heartbroken” was all Routt could muster.
* * * * *
In addition, the Big 12 Conference announced late Thursday that beginning Friday, March 13, it is suspending all regular-season competitions, on- and off-campus recruiting, and out-of-season practices until Sunday, March 29.
The suspension of these athletic-related activities does not include campus-based practices for in-season sports, strength and conditioning activities for all sports, and does not apply to teams and individuals participating in NCAA Championship competition.
Earlier today the Conference announced the cancellation of Big 12 Championship events through April 15.