Coronavirus and Sports,..The Effects.


NBA suspends season until further notice after player tests positive for the coronavirus

The NBA suspended its season after a Utah Jazz player tested positive Wednesday for the coronavirus. "The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of [Wednesday's] schedule of games until further notice,'' the league said in a statement issued shortly after 9:30 p.m. ET. "The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.'' The player is Rudy Gobert of the Jazz, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. That led to Utah's game at Oklahoma City being postponed just before tipoff.
The NBA is expected to address next steps with teams when it conducts a call with the board of governors at 12:30 p.m. ET Thursday, sources told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. Also Wednesday, the NBA G League announced in a statement that it has "suspended the 2019-20 season, effective after tonight's games." Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said during ESPN's broadcast of Dalla' 113-97 victory over the visiting Denver Nuggets that he was shocked by the news that the season was being suspended.

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Major conference basketball tournaments to proceed without fans

The Big 12, Big Ten, ACC, Pac-12, SEC, Big East, American Athletic Conference, Atlantic 10, Southland and Conference USA basketball tournaments will proceed without fans in attendance beginning with Thursday's games, following the lead of the NCAA tournament in barring anybody but family and essential personnel. The Big 12 and Big Ten started Wednesday's tournament games with fans in attendance, and the ACC men's tournament started Tuesday in Greensboro, North Carolina. The women's ACC tournament is over.

The ACC announced its decision in a statement Wednesday evening. That came late on the second day of the five-day event, after fans had attended four full games and half of the Boston College-Notre Dame game at Greensboro Coliseum. The conference cited the "rapidly changing landscape regarding COVID-19,'' saying games would be played only with teams, player guests, limited school administrators and credentialed media present. Thursday's quarterfinal games are the first to feature the top seeds in No. 4 Florida State, No. 10 Duke, No. 15 Louisville and No. 17 Virginia.

The Pac-12 men's basketball tournament, which was underway Wednesday in Las Vegas, will proceed with only essential staff, TV network partners, credentialed media, and limited family and friends in attendance. The conference said that similar limited fan policies will "apply to all Pac-12 sport competitions and Pac-12 Championship events until further notice."

The SEC will also play the remainder of its men's basketball tournament at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, without fans. Similar attendance restrictions will be in effect for all other regular-season events on its campuses and other league championships through at least March 30.

The Big East followed suit with an announcement that the remainder of its men's basketball tournament, which continues through Saturday at New York's Madison Square Garden, will be played under a restricted attendance policy.

The Atlantic 10 tournament, which ends Sunday, will also continue without spectators at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Dayton, the No. 1 seed, does not play until Friday.

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Official who worked CAA men's tourney game has coronavirus
The Colonial Athletic Association said Thursday that a game official who worked this week's CAA men's basketball tournament in Washington, D.C., has tested positive for the coronavirus. The official worked the UNC Wilmington vs. Drexel first-round game on Saturday, multiple sources told ESPN. According to the CAA, the official did not exhibit symptoms until 72 hours after the game he worked. The league has made the schools and tournament personnel aware of the situation.
The NCAA announced a cancellation of all winter and spring championships on Thursday afternoon, including the men's and women's NCAA basketball tournaments.

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XFL cancels regular-season games, 'committed' to playing in 2021

The XFL canceled its regular season Thursday amid the spread of the coronavirus.
The move followed similar cancellations and postponements by the NBA, NHL, NCAA, MLS and Major League Baseball, among others. In its first season since its aborted debut in 2001, the XFL completed half of its scheduled 10-week season. It had been slated to conclude April 12 before two weeks of postseason play. There was no immediate word Thursday about a potential attempt to conduct playoffs. The XFL has given its players approval to sign with NFL teams any time after they pass exit physicals Friday, sources told ESPN's Kevin Seifert. Originally, XFL contacts said players could not sign with NFL until after the XFL playoffs. Despite the cancellation, the league said all players will be paid their base pay and benefits for the regular season, while ticket holders will receive refunds or credit toward future games.

Games drew an average attendance of 18,614 fans, garnering the largest crowds in St. Louis (28,541) and Seattle (25,616), while New York (14,875) and Los Angeles (13,124) found more difficulty attracting fans. Overall, ABC and ESPN networks averaged 2,084,000 viewers per game in Weeks 1-4. Fox networks have averaged 2,019,000 per game. According to the league, all 10 of its broadcast games during that period ranked among television's top 10 shows that week, as did four of the six on cable. The XFL is owned by Vince McMahon, who also runs the WWE. The wrestling company announced earlier Thursday that it would "remain committed" to holding WrestleMania 36 on April 5 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

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NCAA tournaments canceled over coronavirus

The NCAA men's basketball tournament has been played every year since 1939, when Oregon won the championship in Evanston, Illinois. It has grown through the years, both in size and stature. The NCAA women's tournament began in 1982 and it, too, has become a big event, raising the profile of the sport.

The NCAA canceled its men's and women's basketball tournaments on Thursday because of the spread of the coronavirus, putting an abrupt end to the season less than a month before champions were to be crowned. The unprecedented move comes a day after the NCAA announced the games that were scheduled to start next week would go on but be played in mostly empty arenas. That plan was scrapped as every major American sports league from the NBA to MLB put the brakes on its season due to concerns about the pandemic."This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to the spread of the pandemic and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during the academic year given the ongoing decisions by other entities," the NCAA said in statement.
The NCAA canceled championships in all spring sports, including hockey, baseball and lacrosse.

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Why the NHL hit the pause button on the 2019-20 season, and what comes next

On Thursday, the NHL decided to "pause the 2019-20 season, with hopes to resume play at some point in the future. The decision comes after hockey leagues in other countries -- as well as other sports leagues in North America -- made the call to suspend or outright cancel the remainder of their seasons because of the coronavirus. What does all of this mean, in both the short and long term? We're here to answer all of the biggest questions on hockey fans' minds in the wake of the decision, and will continue to update this story as we learn more.

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