Ivy League Cancels Tournament Due to Coronavirus Concerns

CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 30: Jordan Bruner #23 of the Yale Bulldogs reacts after a play against the North Carolina Tar Heels during their game at Dean Smith Center on December 30, 2019 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

As millions around the world ready themselves for self-quarantine and treatment in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, sports tournaments in the United States and overseas are slowly changing their plans to follow suit.

According to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, the Ivy League has officially canceled their tournament this weekend. Yale, who were crowned regular season champions, will automatically go on to participate in the NCAA  March Madness tournament. On the women’s side, Princeton will represent in the upcoming games.

Slated to begin Saturday with 4-seed Penn taking on 1-seed Yale, CTPost.com adds that tickets for the competition will be refunded in full.

“We understand and share the disappointment with student-athletes, coaches and fans who will not be able to participate in these tournaments,” Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris said in a statement. “Regrettably, the information and recommendations presented to us from public health authorities and medical professionals have convinced us that this is the most prudent decision.”

The Yale Bulldogs finished the regular season 23-7 overall and 11-3 in the conference. Longtime rivals Harvard were a game behind them at 10-4 with Princeton rounding out the top 3 at 9-5.

With the Ivy League being the first college basketball conference to cancel their tournament, this could certainly put some pressure on NCAA officials to think about how the Big Dance will operate with millions of fans traveling to various cities across the United States attending their favorite team’s games.

Even though it appears unlikely that the actual tournament might be called off, executives may decide to play games in empty stadiums, like soccer clubs in Europe have already done.

Champions League Matches Will Be Played in Closed Stadiums

Football leagues around the world, specifically Europe and Asia, are taking early action to prevent coronavirus from spreading even more rapidly than it already has. Slated to kick off this afternoon, UEFA Champions League officials announced that this week’s matches will be played in empty venues.

Here are the fixtures this decision will impact: Valencia-Atalanta; PSG-Dortmund; Barcelona-Napoli; Bayern-Chelsea; Juventus-Lyon.

As for the Europa League games, which are played on Thursdays, here are teams that will play in empty arenas this week: Inter Milan-Getafe; Sevilla-Roma; Olympiacos-Wolves.

Regarding other upcoming football tournaments, here’s how they will proceed:

  • Italy has suspended all Serie A games until April 3.
  • Bundesliga will hold Dortmund-Schalke; Bayern-Eintracht matches in empty arenas.
  • FIFA 2022 World Cup Asian qualifiers scheduled for March 23-31 and June 1-9 have been postponed.
  • Only having just began the new season last weekend, MLS is temporarily limiting locker rooms access to media members following training and games. The NBA, NHL and MLB are also following suit.
  • La Liga will play their Matchweek 28 and 29 games in empty arenas.

No word yet on what the Premier League, arguably the largest and most-watched football federation has opted to do. Given how their fellow leagues are taking action earlier rather than later, it might encourage them to do the same.