March 16, 2020

Madness in March

By Cole Emery —

The madness continued as COVID-19 caused the NCAA to cancel all remaining spring and winter championships March 12.

This cancellation will affect more than just the men and women’s basketball tournaments, as this time of the year is one of the busiest times for college sports.

The other NCAA championships cancelled due to coronavirus are: bowling, fencing, men and women’s ice hockey, men and women’s indoor track, men and women’s gymnastics, rifle, skiing, men and women’s swimming and diving, wrestling, baseball, beach volleyball, men and women’s golf, men and women’s lacrosse, rowing, softball, men and women’s tennis, men and women’s outdoor track, men’s volleyball and women’s water polo.

The NCAA was believed to be searching for postponement options but continued to run into logistical issues. With a growing number of universities around the country closing for the for foreseeable future, a definite timetable was not available and decisions had to be made.

Even though the NCAA cancelled all spring championships, they did not address regular-season competition. Many conferences have made the decision to suspend spring athletic competition until further notice, including the ACC, American, Atlantic Sun, Big 12, Big South, Big West, Conference USA, Colonial, Missouri Valley, Mountain West, NEC, Southland, Summit, Sun Belt, SWAC and WAC.

The conferences that announced the complete cancellation of spring seasons are: American East, Big East, Big Ten, Ivy League, MAAC, MEAC, the Patriot League and Stanford, independent of the rest of the Pac-12.

Another cancellation put into affect March 15 is the suspension of on- and off-campus recruiting for all Division I sports through April 15.

With all of the bad news the sports world is receiving, some good news has been given to help student-athletes. The NCAA is expected to grant eligibility relief for all student-athletes who participate in spring sports. A few amendments to the current rules related to scholarship and roster limits will have to occur but seems feasible due to the uniqueness of the situation. It will be more difficult to give eligibility relief to winter sports, since some teams had already completed their seasons while others were about to begin postseason play.

The Division I Council Committee will be discussing possibility of eligibility relief for winter-sports athletes, but it is too early to see how that will be structured.

Graphic by Alexis Simon // The Louisville Cardinal

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