Minute by minute, things are changing rapidly for athletes and sports fans all over the world.
Yesterday, the Southeastern Conference announced its plans to conduct the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament with only essential staff and media members in attendance.
Just now, the SEC instead elected to suspend regular-season competitions for teams in all sports.
Full release on regular season competition: https://t.co/Ziv9xT3WxV
— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) March 12, 2020
The SEC’s decision follows in the footsteps of most major sports leagues around the world. The trend began in Europe. Italy’s top-flight soccer league, Serie A, became the first league to suspend matches. Since then, a royal domino effect has ensued.
The NBA and NHL already suspended the remainder of their seasons. It’s likely Major League Baseball will be the next league to follow. Team owners fully expect league officials to cancel Spring Training following a conference call this morning.
Breaking: The AAC, SEC and Big Ten Tournaments have all been cancelled. pic.twitter.com/jdQLLqyn1Z
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 12, 2020
Undoubtedly, fans, coaches and players will all be disappointed with the SEC’s decision to suspend play. But there’s truly no other course of action at this point.
Some professional athletes were already diagnosed with COVID-19. The Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell tested positive for the disease. To this point, no college athletes tested positive for the illness. However, it’s unclear how many collegiate athletes have undergone medical tests thus far.
There is one event that has not been canceled or postponed — The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The NCAA has not announced anything regarding ‘The Big Dance’, but that would essentially be the last domino to fall in this ordeal. The league will make an announcement regarding COVID-19 tomorrow.
Commissioner of the NCAA, Greg Sankey, held a long, candid press conference today in light of the pandemic.
Kentucky Crowned SEC Champions
There are little to no reasons to celebrate the COVID-19 outbreak. Although, the Kentucky Wildcats (25-6; 15-3 SEC) can momentarily celebrate a triumphant season.
In light of the cancellation of all SEC sports, Kentucky is the champion of the SEC in 2020. Kentucky finished with the best regular-season record in the SEC. The Wildcats will also receive an automatic entry into the NCAA tournament.
Fans and players now await the impending decision from the NCAA.
All signs are currently pointing in one direction.
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 29, 2020