After a COVID-19 advisory board recommended against allowing the general public congregating and observing sporting events, the NCAA has come down with a shocking decision that will leave March Madness looking much different in 2020.
Amid concerns of the spread of coronavirus, only "essential staff" and family members will be allowed to observe the 2020 NCAA tournament in person, according to a statement from NCAA president Mark Emmert.
Ohio governor Mike DeWine had already announced that any NCAA tournament games in the Buckeye State will be played without fans in attendance. While the MAC and Big West are adopting the same strategy for their conference tournaments, the Ivy League has been much more proactive, cancelling their conference basketball tournament and all spring sports.
This is certainly a disappointing outcome, but both a logical and necessary one.
The coronavirus epidemic might has reached the point where one of the greatest spectacles in all of American sports will be played without thousands upon thousands of screaming fans giving the event its trademark atmosphere. Some may not agree with it, but attendance at sports games is clearly way down on the priority list, while the health of the general public is at or near the top.