The global pandemic called the Coronavirus has officially reached into Pac-12 sports, affecting Oregon sports for the first but likely not last time on a major scale. The official Oregon baseball twitter account tweeted that its series in Los Angeles against UCLA will be “essential personnel only”.
News from UCLA in regards to Oregon's three-game baseball series against the Bruins this weekend. No fans will be allowed to attend because of Coronavirus precautions. Only "essential personnel" will be allowed into Jackie Robinson Stadium. #GoDucks https://t.co/hdvFFa4nn8— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) March 10, 2020
Furthermore, Steve Mims of the Register-Guard has tweeted that the Pac-12 has followed the four major North American sports in not allowing media access in the locker room. They are still allowing fans, however. The NBA, NHL, MLB, and MLS issued an unprecedented memo earlier this week about the virus.
Pac-12 still allowing fans into men’s tournament, but closing locker rooms to media and postponing Hall of Honor events. Dan Fouts was slated to be the UO inductee.— Steve Mims (@SteveMims_RG) March 10, 2020
The Pac-12 released more information via its Twitter account as seen below
The Pac-12 today issued the following update & statement on the upcoming men's basketball tournament. Full update & FAQ related to coronavirus (COVID-19) available below.— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) March 10, 2020
Update & FAQ ➡️ https://t.co/JexIrEJYQQ#Pac12Hoops
Basically, the individual universities will decide on bringing non essential personnel like cheerleaders and bands. Extra security and safety for everyone will be provided for by the host venue, T-Mobile Arena and MGM Resorts. Keep in mind that the Pac-12 is going into a hornet’s nest in Las Vegas as the UFC, women’s Pac-12 tournament, and your various Vegas acts were or are still there.
North American Sports
The NBA has been discussing the option to play in empty arenas and releasing other pertinent information in conjunction with its Player’s Association. Michael McCann of Sports Illustrated breaks down the legal ramifications of such a move across the sports landscape.
Sources: The NBA has sent a memo to its franchises explaining that, due to coronavirus outbreak, teams should be preparing to play games without fans in attendance and identifying “essential staff” present for these games -- should it be necessary.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 7, 2020
As you know, the disease reached the western United States a couple of weeks ago and more specifically, the Pacific Northwest. There have been hundreds of cases in California, Oregon, and Washington.
This growing crisis has impacted college sports already (particularly New York state where multiple deaths have occurred), leading to multiple postponements, empty arenas, and prompted the often slow moving NCAA to issue emergency statements. The Ivy League has cancelled their conference tournament effective this morning. There have been rumors of the NCAA even considering cancelling March Madness over the virus.
With March Madness tournament scheduled to begin on March 17, the NCAA is consulting with public health officials and its COVID-19 advisory panel, and says a decision on how to proceed will be made in the coming days. https://t.co/J7pTwzPQZF— ABC News (@ABC) March 10, 2020
One has to wonder if the SEC will decide on postponing or severely restricting their tournament as the host city Nashville has had several cases of the virus, not to mention the devastating tornadoes from last week.
Major League Baseball in particular has to be worried about their season in particular as Spring Training is well underway now.
The virus has impacted the in season XFL as a CenturyLink Field worker was found to be positive. The XFL has not announced any further details regarding the disease.
The NFL while not in season will kick off its free agency frenzy next week as the league will begin a firestorm of travel, meetings, and other events leading up to the draft in Las Vegas. It has not been announced what their plans are as of press time.
The Summer Olympics in Tokyo are endangered. The Italian government has shut down all of their sports, including Serie A, its top soccer league, not to mention shut down as a sovereign nation for one month. The rest of Europe have or will surely contemplate doing the same. The hugely successful soccer leagues across Europe have responded in a variety of ways such as no handshakes (English Premier League), outright postponement, closed door games (La Liga and Bundesliga), and limiting fan attendance (Ligue 1).
Formula 1 has announced that they will proceed as planned for their season opener in Australia with no restrictions.
You can find the global statistics at worldometers.info
5 PM EDT UPDATE (2 PM PDT)
The NCAA has announced that March Madness will be essential personnel and family only.
Andy Katz isreporting that the NIT will have no fans in attendance
The NIT will still happen but won’t have any fans in attendance, per NCAA.— Andy Katz (@TheAndyKatz) March 11, 2020
Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports is reporting that broadcast media will be allowed but print and digital media is still up in the air
An NCAA spokesman tells @YahooSports the NCAA tournament games will still be televised, but the NCAA is "still working through (a decision on) other media."— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) March 11, 2020
7 PM EDT UPDATE (4 PM PDT)
Bruce Feldman of the Athletic is reporting that the Big Ten has decided to be fan free. The Big 12 has done the same
The Big Ten announced that beginning Thursday, attendance at all Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tourney games will be limited to players, coaches, event staff, essential team and Conference staff, credentialed media, and immediate family members of the participating teams.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) March 11, 2020
9 PM EDT UPDATE (6 PM PDT)
The Pac-12 has officially announced that they are going fan free
Statement from the Pac-12 on the men's basketball tournament, sport competitions and other championship events: pic.twitter.com/rQpt54GYcG— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) March 12, 2020
11 PM EDT UPDATE (8 PM PDT)
The NBA has SUSPENDED its season due to Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert contracting the virus
Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for Coronavirus.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2020
NBA has suspended its season. pic.twitter.com/YPV1SVj2gp
3/12 11:15 AM EDT UPDATE (8:15 AM PDT)
MLS h1as elected to suspend its just started season per Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated. The Eredivisie also has suspended its season.
MLS is suspending its season immediately until further notice due to coronavirus, a source with knowledge of the situation tells Sports Illustrated.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) March 12, 2020
The ACC Tournament will be fan free according to Commissioner John Swofford
ACC Commissioner John Swofford has just announced the games are on today in Greensboro. It will be an odd, surreal feeling to call games in a (virtually) empty arena, with much larger things going on in the world. We will try to bring it to you with the proper tenor.— Dan Shulman (@DShulman_ESPN) March 12, 2020
12:15 PM UPDATE (9:15 AM PDT)
The ACC reversed course a mere 15 minutes before tip today that they are cancelling the rest of their tournament
The Pac-12 has joined the other conferences in cancelling the remainder of the tournament
Pac-12 statement on men's basketball tournament, Pac-12 sport competitions & Pac-12 championship events: pic.twitter.com/HjJvki3LOT— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) March 12, 2020
1:40 PM UPDATE (10:40 AM PDT)
MLB is expected to suspend all operations indefinitely per Jeff Passan
The NHL also suspended operations
2 PM UPDATE 11 AM PDT
Arizona State has announced that they are suspending participation in ALL sporting events. Duke came out earlier starting the same
Oregon has announced that they have cancelled the open practice this weekend
Oregon Ducks cancel football practice at Hillsborohttps://t.co/5OvMb0lC5A— James Crepea (@JamesCrepea) March 12, 2020
4:40 PM EDT UPDATE (1:40 PM PDT)
Upon conference after conference going ahead and instituting travel bans for all athletics and otherwise, the NCAA has decided cancel both of the men’s and women’s national tournaments.
5:00 PM EDT UPDATE (2 PM PDT)
The Oregon football family has been affected at least indirectly. A member of Ducks wide receiver Mycah Pittman’s family has contracted the virus. It remains to be seen what Mycah’s status is after this news.
Former Bucs RB Michael Pittman is asking for prayers right now. With his blessing, I am posting that a family member of his contracted the coronavirus, has been in the hospital since last Thursday and is now in a coma and in critical condition. He said they need a miracle.— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) March 12, 2020