Men's Basketball

Decision On NCAA Tournament To Be Made ‘In the coming days’

NCAA Tournament Coronavirus COVID-19

The headline here doesn’t really sound like substantial news, but the statement the NCAA released Tuesday evening represents a pretty big change of position from even a few hours earlier.

In its entirety, the statement reads: “The NCAA continues to assess how COVID-19 impacts the conduct of our tournaments and events. We are consulting with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel, who are leading experts in epidemiology and public health, and will make decisions in the coming days.”

Four days ago, the NCAA’s statement was far more emphatic: “The NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel recognizes the fluidity of COVID-19 and its impact on hosting events in a public space.  The panel members believe that we need to better understand COVID-19 while continuing to work with local, state and federal health authorities such as the CDC.  The key is for all stakeholders and athletes to practice risk mitigation at all events.  At present the panel is not recommending cancellation or public spacing of athletic and related events scheduled to occur in public spaces across the United States.”

Around lunchtime on Tuesday, their position was: “NCAA member schools and conferences make their own decisions regarding regular season and conference tournament play.  As we have stated, we will make decisions on our events based on the best, most current public health guidance available. Neither the NCAA COVID-19 advisory panel, made up of leading public health and infectious disease experts in America, nor the CDC or local health officials have advised against holding sporting events. In the event circumstances change, we will make decisions accordingly.”

That statement came out at 1:13 pm on Tuesday.

By 5:45, just four-and-a-half hours later, “neither the NCAA COVID-19 advisory panel, made up of leading public health and infectious disease experts in America, nor the CDC or local health officials have advised against holding sporting events” had given way to “decisions in the coming days.”

Earlier today, the Ohio High School Athletic Association decided to follow the recommendation of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and significantly limit the number of people in attendance for the state championships in four sports.

Tuesday evening, the Mid-American Conference made a similar choice for its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.

The Ivy League opted to just cancel its conference tournament entirely.

The Cincinnati Bearcats football program canceled its Spring Game.

Ohio University and Indiana University followed Ohio State’s example and canceled in-person classes for a couple weeks.

As of now, the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament, Ohio State Spring Game, and all Division 1 NCAA Men’s Tournament games are still scheduled to go on with crowds in attendance.

4 Responses

  1. Dallas Buckeye – the difference between the flu and COVID-19 is that one has established testing and treatment protocols and one does not. One has a sub 1% mortality rate and one has more than a 3% mortality rate with up to a 14% mortality rate in the elderly. One has a well understood infection rate and progression pattern and one does not.

    True – Influenza kills more people so far because of the number of people infected annually (so far). But COVID-19’s ability to spread for up to 14 days while the carrier has no symptoms and does not realize they have the virus makes the potential for true pandemic results with vastly higher mortality counts much greater than influenza. The risk from this virus is potentially dramatically more dangerous than the flu.

    The most apt comparison seems to be to the Spanish flu from 1918 that infected more than 500 million (about 25% of the work population at that time) and resulted in between 15 million and 50 million deaths by best estimates. Given the growth in the world population and the increased density in urban centers, the possibility of a more dramatic outcome with this virus is why people are worried.

    Let’s not call people sheep until the danger is actually passed. Your comment seems somewhat short sighted and uninformed based on the medical evidence and insights of trained epidemiologists…unless you are one in which case I apologize.

    1. Clarification – no one expects COVID-19 to kill as many people as the Spanish Flu from 1918 due to better communication and medical technology. But the nature of the virus, the risk of infection, and the lack of treatment options for now are why Coronavirus is a bigger threat than influenza.

      1. fair enough. points well taken.

  2. insane, insane, insane! so far, the REGULAR flu has killed 27,000…about normal; corona virus has killed 600. obviously, REGULAR flu has a lousy pr dept, as the media-enhanced scare tactics have run amok. folks, there’s more politics than healthcare at work here…! Columbus has 3 cases, but the Prez shuts down the school to avoid any possibility of criticism. cya 101. and a wild 2-week party on campus will ensue! either that or he’s concerned about the .000000128% of American citizens that have this “deadly” virus.
    get real, folks. don’t be sheep

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