The Southeastern Conference (SEC) has officially called off the remainder of its 2019-2020 athletic schedule in response to concerns related to the 2019-2020 coronavirus (known officially as 2019-nCoV or COVID-19). The cancellation includes “all regular season conference and non-conference competitions” and “all remaining SEC championship events.”
Translation? College baseball is done. And college softball is done.
All spring sports … kaput.
“This is a difficult day for all of us, and I am especially disappointed for our student-athletes,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in making the announcement. “The health and well-being of our entire conference community is an ongoing priority for the SEC as we continue to monitor developments and information about the COVID-19 virus.”
All other athletics activities, “including team and individual practices, meetings and other organized gatherings, whether required or voluntary, remain suspended through at least April 15,” the conference advised.
The conference said its member institutions (including the University of South Carolina) would “continue to provide their student-athletes with care and support to meet needs in areas including academics, medical care, mental health and wellness, nutrition and housing as needed.”
Officials would also continue “to communicate with public health officials and medical experts to determine the best path forward related to coronavirus pandemic.”
The conference further announced that any fans who had purchased tickets to the 2020 SEC baseball or softball tournaments would receive “automatic full ticket refunds” no later than March 31.
Sports in America have been effectively discontinued due to the virus, with officials desperately trying to limit its spread by cancelling events that draw large crowds. The hope? That the virus will be stopped in its tracks and that the economy will be able to pick back up again, hopefully benefiting from pent-up demand.
We shall see …
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