Coronavirus affecting multiple Ala. sports teams
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Several leagues, conferences, and schools are taking caution against the COVID-19 coronavirus, canceling several conference tournaments and even seasons. Many of those cancelations are affecting participating universities and professional sports teams around the state of Alabama.
Thursday afternoon, the NCAA announced the cancelation for all winter and spring championships, affecting the upcoming men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments.
Alabama Community College Conference has suspended all regular season competition until April 3.
Friday, the University of Alabama announced it was suspending spring practice “until further notice.” This includes all football media-related activities.
Montgomery Public Schools canceled all athletic events until further notice after it was confirmed Friday that there was a positive coronavirus case in Montgomery County, making it the first confirmed case in the state of Alabama.
The Southeastern Conference canceled its men’s conference basketball tournament in Nashville in which both the University of Alabama and Auburn University were set to participate.
The Alabama High School Athletic Association announced Friday that all athletic events will be suspended for two and a half weeks starting Wednesday, March 18.
The Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Basketball game slated to be played Friday night in Mississippi will go on but will be closed to the public.
The Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame Banquet scheduled for March 16 has been postponed until June 22.
All Gulf South Conference athletic activity was suspended as of Friday, meaning all Auburn University at Montgomery athletic events as well.
Intercollegiate athletics for the Huntingdon College Hawks have been canceled until March 29.
Friday, the SEC announced all organized team activities, including competitions and practices, meetings, gatherings have been suspended through April 15. Events were originally suspended through March 30.
The Sun Belt Conference suspended all regular season competitions and conference championships indefinitely:
The Troy women’s basketball team was the No. 1 seed in the Sun Belt Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament that was canceled.
Alabama State announced the cancelation of all athletic competitions for the spring Thursday afternoon.
“The Alabama State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has been, and will continue to monitor the situation with the COVID-19 virus and believe that the health and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and staff is of the utmost importance. We take this situation seriously and have canceled the spring sports seasons indefinitely. We understand the magnitude of this decision, but still it is best to be proactive instead of reactive.”
The Faulkner Eagles were set to take part in the NAIA basketball tournament in Kansas City before the NAIA canceled all winter championships.
Faulkner head men’s basketball coach Scott Sanderson shared a tweet celebrating his team’s 2019-20 season shortly after the news:
The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference canceled all spring athletic and championship events Thursday evening:
In light of recent developments relating to the outbreak of COVID-19, the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC), after careful consultation with our member school presidents, have determined that it is in the best interest of the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, athletic administrators, and fans to cancel all spring athletic and championship events through the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year. In addition, all athletic related events including, but not limited to, practices and spring football exhibitions will be suspended until further notice.
Individual SIAC institutions will be accorded the latitude to determine whether teams and student-athletes that have qualified for postseason play will participate in their respective events.
The SIAC encourages everyone to observe and be guided by the preventive actions identified and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
“The Year of Chicken” will have to be put on hold for the Montgomery Biscuits after Minor League Baseball announced the start of the 2020 season has been delayed.
Auburn University is postponing the start of spring football practice as well as all football-related activities. Practice was scheduled to begin March 16.
“The well-being of our student-athletes, staff, fans and the Auburn community will always be our highest priority. Given the global gravity of COVID-19, we appreciate the complexities of these difficult decisions. Our hearts go out to our student-athletes and coaches who have worked tirelessly to represent Auburn with class and excellence in their quest for championships. We thank the Auburn family for their understanding and patience as we navigate this unprecedented and fluid situation.”
SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament tickets will be refunded for purchases made through the Auburn Ticket Office. Additional information will be sent directly to ticket holders for baseball and softball.
At this point, athletics for Auburn University at Montgomery and the Alabama High School Athletic Association have yet to be suspended.
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