NCAA cancels championships, UCLA suspends team events in coronavirus response
2020 NCAA championships for winter and spring sports will not take place due to safety concerns sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. UCLA men’s and women’s basketball are among the affected Bruin teams. (Daily Bruin file photo)
This post was updated March 12 at 7:23 p.m.
All 2020 national championships for winter and spring sports will be canceled because of the coronavirus concerns, according to an NCAA statement released Thursday.
NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors called off all upcoming Division I tournaments and championships, including the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. The decision followed the cancellations of all Power 5 men’s basketball conference tournaments earlier in the day.
— NCAA (@NCAA) March 12, 2020
The NCAA had previously announced that to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, only a limited number of family members and essential personnel would be allowed to attend the men’s and women’s March Madness tournaments, which were slated to begin March 19 and 20, respectively.
No. 8 UCLA women’s basketball was projected as a No. 2 seed for this year’s bracket, while UCLA men’s basketball was considered a bubble team, with the Bruins’ March Madness fate left to be determined at the now-canceled Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas.
The NCAA’s initial announcement did not include information about the impact this will have on athletes’ collegiate eligibility.
UCLA Athletics released a statement with new policies of its own later Thursday.
The athletic department suspended all team practices and team-related events through at least March 29, and any recruitment-related activities, camps and clinics indefinitely.
“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. “Even in the midst of great disappointment, we must all keep in mind the bigger picture; the health and safety of our community is the most important thing at this time. We are committed to the overall well-being of our student-athletes, and providing them with all the support that they need during this uncertain and unprecedented time.”