In what would seem crazy to think only a few days ago, the NCAA has released a statement saying that both the men’s and women’s March Madness tournament games will not be open to the public. NCAA president Mark Emmert release a statement saying that; “I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division 1 men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance. ” Emmert went on to state how he knew this would be disappointing to fans, but said it was made with the noble intention of slowing down and stopping the vents from helping spread COVID-19. He ended the statement saying that they will continue to monitor the situation and make the necessary adjustments.
While this certainly is disappointing to hear, this decision was made because of the current information about the outbreak. With there still being an unknown number of people infected, and people fearing the spread of the virus, this might be the best decision. It will certainly lead to a weird and strange March Madness, to say the least. A number of conference tournaments, postseason tournaments and cities have canceled their events for fear of COVID-19. This statement will likely mean all other conference tournaments that have not limited fan attendance will make similar moves in the hours or days to come. The ACC, SEC, Big East, Pac-12 and other major conferences are hosting their conference tournaments this week. Thousands of fans are expected to attend each event and with the NCAA making this move, the conferences will likely do the same soon. This is disappointing, but with the virus, all the information and worse misinformation going around, perhaps it is best if the NCAA and other institutions do their part in reducing the chances for people to becoming infected with the virus.