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Coronavirus: The Impact on Pac-12, National, NCAA and International Sports (UPDATE)

The deadly COVID-19 disease has impacted Oregon related sports for the first but not the last time

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NCAA Womens Basketball: Pac-12 Conference Tournament Championship Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

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”.

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.

The Pac-12 released more information via its Twitter account as seen below

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.

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.

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.

Global Sports

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.

Global Statistics

You can find the global statistics at


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

Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports is reporting that broadcast media will be allowed but print and digital media is still up in the air


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 Pac-12 has officially announced that they are going fan free


The NBA has SUSPENDED its season due to Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert contracting the virus

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.

The ACC Tournament will be fan free according to Commissioner John Swofford

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

1:40 PM UPDATE (10:40 AM PDT)

MLB is expected to suspend all operations indefinitely per Jeff Passan

The NHL also suspended operations


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

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.


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.