Pac-12, Cal Athletics cancels all competitions over COVID-19 concerns

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Update 3/12/2020: this article has been updated to include more information from the NCAA and Cal Athletics.

Update 3/13/2020: this article has been updated to include more information from the NCAA

After managing to upset seventh seed Stanford, the Cal men’s basketball team will not be moving forward into round two of the Pac-12 tournament, as the conference announced Thursday morning that all Pac-12 competitions will be canceled due to fears surrounding COVID-19, otherwise known as the novel coronavirus.

“This decision has been made in consultation with our member universities in an effort to limit the spread of the virus and in the interest of the health and safety of our student-athletes, campus personnel, working and event personnel, and all those who attend Pac-12 events,” the statement said.

The Pac-12 is hardly the first tournament to close. The NCAA announced Wednesday that the men’s and women’s basketball championship tournaments — March Madness — would be held with barely any fans. 

The NCAA has canceled all remaining winter and spring competitions, according to a press release, in order to “ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic.” The press release also acknowledged “the impracticality” of hosting competitions while multiple colleges’ academic years are in flux.  

On the heels of the NCAA’s announcement, Cal Athletics released a press statement canceling all events for Cal’s teams in every sport until further notice.

The decision impacts all regular-season events – both conference and non-conference contests – as well as all Pac-12 postseason championships,” the press statement said. “Cal will apply this guidance for all sports, including those that do not compete in the Pac-12.”

Other conferences that have canceled their end of season tournaments include the Big 12, Big 10, SEC, ACC and several others.  The NBA also suspended the rest of its season Wednesday, after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.

In an update Thursday evening, Cal Athletics announced that all Cal Athletics competitions would be canceled through the spring term, citing the NCAA and Pac-12 cancellations in the decision.

Cal Athletics also announced the suspension of all on-campus and off-campus recruiting, suspended all clinics, camps and practices, including spring football and encouraged staff to work remotely.

On Friday morning, 247 Sports reported that the NCAA will grant an extra year of eligibility to student athletes who participated in spring sports and is still discussing the same strategy for winter sports. Reports also suggest the NCAA has suspended recruiting until April.

Check here for live updates on the COVID-19 situation.

Contact Michael Brust and Sakura Cannestra at [email protected].