With rising concerns of COVID-19, the world of sports has taken a hit that it has not seen in recent history.
Starting Wednesday, with the concerns of COVID-19 spreading, several games were set to be played without fans in attendance. The Golden State Warriors was the first major sports organization to announce that the team will play its home games without fans. Following the Warriors’ lead, several NCAA conference tournaments were announced to occur without fans including the Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC and the official NCAA Tournament which was set to start next week.
While several conferences were still set to continue its tournaments without the presence of fans, the Ivy League was the first to take action by canceling all spring sporting events around 3 p.m. on Wednesday. Later in the day, around 8:40 p.m., the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder game was postponed.
About 45 minutes after the game was postponed, the Jazz’s center from France, Rudy Gobert, was tested positive for COVID-19. Less than five minutes later, the NBA suspended its season. This was the tipping point for the rest of the sports world.
The next day, the MLS suspended its season immediately until further notice around 10 a.m. Thursday. This marked the first major event of the day as several college conferences went from playing their games in front of no fans to being canceled. The Big Ten was the first conference to announce the cancellation of its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. Following, the Big 12, SEC, Pac-12, ACC and the rest of the conferences canceled their tournaments.
With several major sporting events being either canceled or suspended, the MLB announced that it would suspend operations until further notice as the teams were preparing for the regular season at spring training.
Moving back to college hoops, it was reported that top teams Duke and Kansas did not intend to participate in the NCAA Division I Championships, also known as the March Madness tournament, due to concerns of COVID-19. A couple of hours later at around 3:15 p.m, the NCAA announced that it would cancel the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, along with the remaining winter and spring NCAA championships. This included gymnastics, track and field, baseball, softball, tennis, golf and the rest of the sports being played.
Following the cancellation of the winter and spring sports’ NCAA championships, the Big 12 and other conferences announced the decision to suspend all regular-season games and recruiting for the remainder of March.
Bouncing back to major league sports, the NBA provided an update regarding the league’s suspension, telling teams the league would be suspended for a minimum of 30 days. The MLB then provided a statement saying the opening day for the 2020 season would be pushed back by at least two weeks.
Later in the day at 6:20 p.m., the new football league, XFL, announced that the rest of the regular-season games were canceled in its first official season. Three hours later, the PGA announced the remaining three rounds of The Players were canceled, along with the Valspar, WGC-Match Play and Valero.
With almost every sporting activity getting either canceled or postponed on Thursday, The Boston Marathon was postponed at 9:30 a.m. on Friday. This marked the first delay to the marathon in the 124-year history as it was moved to Sept. 14. A little over an hour later, NASCAR postponed its next two races in Atlanta and Miami. IndyCar followed, canceling its next four races.
Many questions arose regarding the professional sports’ seasons, but concerns about the eligibility of student-athletes came to question as their seasons’ ended unexpectedly. While the NCAA suspended all recruiting for all sports until at least April 15, it also provided a statement regarding the eligibility of its athletes. At 1:30 p.m., the Division I Council Coordination Committee agreed to provide eligibility relief for spring sport student-athletes.