As part of a series of warnings regarding state business such as K-12 education and prison policy, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today asked that indoor athletics events in the state take place without spectators due to concerns over Covid-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.
ATHLETICS: For indoor events, we are asking for no events with spectators other than the athletes, parents, and others essential to the game.— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) March 10, 2020
Right now, outdoor events can continue. #COVID19
The NCAA Tournament’s First Four is scheduled to take place next Tuesday and Wednesday March 17th and 18th at Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio. Also one of the eight first and second round sites is scheduled for Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland on Friday March 20th and 22nd.
Earlier today prior to DeWine’s statement, the NCAA announced they were continuing forward with the Tournament as planned. However, following DeWine’s statement, they issued a statement that offered a slight hedge.
We’ll see what happens, but for now the policy of the NCAA and that of the chief executive of the state scheduled to host 10 of the 67 games of the biggest event in college sports seem to be in diametrical opposition.
Also to be noted, the Mid American Conference tournament is supposed to take place in Cleveland in the same Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on March 12 & 14. The MAC announced plans for the tournament to be played with no fans, and only institutional personnel, player family members, credentialed media, and official team party members.
BREAKING: The MAC bball tournaments in will be closed to the public.— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) March 10, 2020
"Only credentialed institutional personnel, student-athlete family members, credentialed media, television and radio crews, and official team party members will be permitted for attendance for the tournaments." pic.twitter.com/2Hbq6BxB1W