As the sports world reacts to coronavirus (COVID-19) news, Tennessee Athletics has decided to announce the postponement of the Orange & White game, originally set for April 18.
This comes following the decision of the SEC to push back the possible resumption of conference competition to April 15 at the earliest. Yesterday the conference announced a possible resumption of activities on March 30 but decided on the new date due to developments of the conditions.
SEC athletic programs must cease practices and workouts by the ‘end of day’ Friday March 13. Meeting can be held for the purpose of settling logistics but can not go past 5 p.m. local time on Monday, March 16.
Tennessee did not rule out the potential of playing the game at some point in the future.
Tennessee Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer has released the following statement regarding postponement:
"The past several days have been filled with uncertainty and have presented unique and challenging circumstances. A growing public health crisis has led to difficult but necessary decisions. I personally am grateful for the courageous leadership of Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey, UT Chancellor Plowman and the rest of our conference presidents, chancellors and ADs. Dialogue is ongoing. We are all in uncharted territory, and there is no manual to guide our decision making. However, we must continue act with abundant caution while prioritizing health and safety throughout our campuses and communities.
"I am heartbroken for our student-athletes who have poured their heart and soul into their training and now find themselves in a season of uncertainty. There are many lingering questions related to academics, eligibility, training schedules, housing and various other internal operations for which we do not yet have answers. But I am focused on actively engaging in the dialogue that is to come as we work to support our young men and women—highlighting their physical, mental and emotional wellness—to help them move forward.
"To our incredible fans, donors and alumni—I understand the frustration that comes along with canceled events, ticket refunds and many lost opportunities to celebrate Tennessee wins and championships. But I'm confident that these circumstances will stir the passion of the world's most extraordinary fanbase, and that your love for the Vols and Lady Vols will shine through like never before when the action eventually resumes.
"Please take care of yourselves and each other as we navigate the days to come together, prioritizing the greater good."