BY ANDREAS BUTLER
The sports world has halted with the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The National Basketball Association (NBA) suspended the season on March 12 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus before a game with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The National Hockey League (NHL) and Major League Soccer (MLS) shortly followed. Major League Baseball (MLB) canceled spring training the next day and pushed opening day back to April 9. Word is the season may begin in June.
The NCAA canceled March Madness, its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. Conferences were already canceling their basketball tournaments.
The NCAA and its member conferences have mostly canceled spring sports.
Derby now Sept. 5
The National Football League (NFL) Draft is scheduled for April 29 Las Vegas but without fan activities and presence.
The Xtreme Football League (XFL) canceled its season but will still pay players. The Association of Tennis Professional (ATP) is suspended for six weeks and Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) suspended until May 2.
Professional futbol (soccer) leagues across Europe and the world have also suspended operations until April and May. The Kentucky Derby horse race has moved from May 2 to Sept. 5.
NASCAR is canceled for the next two weeks while Professional Golf Association (PGA) and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) events are canceled activities for three weeks respectively.
B-CU, MEAC cancellations
On March 12, Bethune-Cookman University Athletics Department released a statement cancelling all sports for the spring semester.
“In consideration of all health and safety factors, Bethune-Cookman University has joined the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in suspending all activities related to spring sports as it relates to competition and practice indefinitely,” said B-CU VP of Intercollegiate Athletics Lynn Thompson.
The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) closed its offices on March 14 after canceling all sports, including its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments in the in quarterfinals on March 12.
Dr. Wayne Frederick, MEAC chair of the Council of Executive Directors and Howard University president, stated, “While we are disappointed that the excellence of our student-athletes after months of preparation will not be showcased, their health and safety as well as the health and safety of the wider community is of paramount importance.”
The MEAC and its members are working on extending eligibility for the players.
Thompson added, “We have consulted with our university senior staff and the MEAC conference and instructed our compliance office to begin to work on the various NCAA bylaws to protect the eligibility and academic progress of our student-athletes while we deal with this crisis.”
Local sports on hold too The Volusia County School District canceled local prep sports following suit with other school districts across the state. The district is currently on spring break but has closed schools through March 29.
The Florida High School Athletic Association, which governs most sanctioned sports hasn’t officially, canceled anything. The FHSAA advises its members to follow guidelines set by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Florida Department of Health.