The NCAA announced Thursday it is cancelling its March Madness basketball tournaments and all remaining winter and spring championships amid coronavirus fears.
"While we know today's developments are devastating for our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans, we fully support the decisions of the Pac-12 Conference and the NCAA and believe these precautions are in everyone's best interest", said UCLA Director of Athletics Dan Guerrero in the statement.
That became a catalyst on Thursday as the conferences with tournaments over the weekend began cancelling the entirety of the tournaments.
In Washington, the state that has been hit hardest by coronavirus, Governor Jay Inslee is reportedly expected to restrict gatherings of more than 250 people, according to the Seattle Times.
Emmert also says the NCAA is looking into moving the men's Final Four from Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium to a smaller arena.
The 2020 Players Championship has been canceled amid concern surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, the PGA Tour announced on Thursday evening following the conclusion of Round 1.
Meanwhile, the wildly popular climax to the USA college basketball season - "March Madness" - will be played in virtually fan-free arenas after the NCAA said only relatives and essential personnel would be allowed at games.
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Yesterday, the first two games of the tournament were played in front of fans at Bankers Life Field House in Indianapolis, Indiana.
'Just a thought, but if the #NCAA has to cancel its basketball tournament for the safety, health and well-being of student-athletes, it's not really a big deal, ' tweeted Marc Edelman, a tenured professor at Baruch's Zicklin School of Business.
Various conference tournaments, which started Wednesday, were also affected by the spectator ban.
The NHL, MLB, MLS and other major sports leagues have also announced they are suspending their seasons. The Sooners' series was canceled before the first pitch of game one. "If that means not having any people in the audience, as the National Basketball Association plays, so be it", Fauci said.
The Pac-12's Stanford announced separately that its winter and spring sports teams are done for the season. Major League Baseball will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts.
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"I don't understand why we're canceling something that at this point is 3 1/2 months out", Peterson said.
Sports and government officials in almost every corner of the globe have scrambled to address concerns fans could be at risk and to potentially stop the spread of the virus.