With its upcoming championships planned to run on schedule, the NCAA is instituting an advisory panel to help implement precautions against a potential coronavirus outbreak.
The NCAA has several major championships, including Men’s Division I basketball March Madness, just around the corner. To clarify its plans amidst growing concerns over a potential coronavirus outbreak in the United States, the NCAA announced Tuesday that all upcoming championships are planned to remain on schedule. However, the organization also stated on Tuesday that it is assembling a coronavirus advisory panel that includes “leading medical, public health and epidemiology experts” and plans to continue monitoring the situation. More from Reuters:
Donald Remy, the NCAA chief operating officer, said in a written statement that the organisation was “planning to conduct our championships as planned,” but would continue to monitor news about the coronavirus.
“The NCAA is committed to conducting its championships and events in a safe and responsible manner,” said Remy, adding that the group would “make decisions that are first and foremost reflective of medical best practices.”
The panel is led by the NCAA’s chief medical officer, Brian Hainline.
With this announcement, the NCAA emphasized that it will maintain daily contact with the CDC and be prepared to react to any evolving circumstances.
“We are actively monitoring COVID-19 in the United States and will make recommendations on competition based on the evolving medical protocols established by the CDC, NIH and state and local authorities,” NCAA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Hainline said in a press statement. “We are in daily contact with the CDC and are advising leadership on the Association’s response to this outbreak.”
Globally, coronavirus is having implications on professional sports leagues overseas, with pro seasons postponed and matches played in empty stadiums. As more and more states report new cases and deaths, leagues based in the U.S. and Canada–including the NBA and NHL–are actively monitoring the situation and communicating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal government bodies.