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. This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities.
The decision affects all of collegiate athletics across the board, from the College World Series to the Frozen Four. There are many questions to be answered, including possible extended eligibility for student-athletes that didn’t get to compete in championships this year, and the economics of a multi-billion dollar industry shutting down in 24 hours.
With the rash of sports cancellations across the globe, this decision certainly isn’t surprising. The NBA suspended its season Wednesday night, while two players for the Utah Jazz were diagnosed with the virus. The NHL, MLS, La Liga, Serie A, and plenty of others are have done so as well.
The NCAA tournament has taken place every year since 1939.