The reach of the coronavirus has found its way to SEC sports. Following the restriction of fan attendance for the NCAA Basketball Tournaments, as well as multiple other conference basketball tournaments, the SEC has announced that until at least March 30 regular season contests on SEC campuses and SEC championships will be played with highly limited attendance.
The only people allowed in the venues will be staff, family and credentialed media. The restrictions will go into effect on March 12 in the second round of the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament. On March 30, the situation will be re-evaluated by the conference and the member institutions. At that time, it will be decided whether further actions are necessary.
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey gave the following statement on the issue Wednesday night.
“In light of recent developments beyond our control related to the spread of the coronavirus, including a recommendation from the NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel, and after consultation with our member universities, we have made the difficult decision to hold the 2020 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament in Nashville without spectators beginning with games of Thursday, March 12. Effective immediately, the policy will also apply to other SEC Championship events and on-campus regular season games scheduled through at least the end of March.”
“After conferring with local and national health authorities, we remain confident in our ability to safeguard the health and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and other staff who will be participating as well as the limited number of family members and media who will be in attendance at the tournament.”
“We regret the inconvenience and disappointment this decision has caused our fans, especially those who have already traveled to Nashville for the tournament.”