NCAA, Big Ten tournament games to be played without fans

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FILE – In this Wednesday, March 18, 2015 file photo, The NCAA logo is on the court as work continues at The Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. Imagine an NCAA Tournament with no fans in the arenas. What normally would be thought an impossibility isn’t so far-fetched as the United States and the rest of the world attempt to contain the spread of the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)


UPDATE: The Big Ten announced that fans won’t be able to attend men’s basketball tournament games starting Thursday.

University of Iowa Director of Athletics Gary Barta released a statement following the NCAA and Big Ten Conference announcements.

“The decisions that are being made to limit attendance at Big Ten Conference events and NCAA championship events are the result of information provided by national health experts,” Barta said. “The Big Ten Conference and its league presidents are in full support of these decisions. There are a lot of unknowns at this time in regard to tickets, travel, and the affect these decisions will have on a large number of fans. We will be communicating information to those impacted by these decisions as we receive additional details. The health and wellness of our coaches, staff, and student-athletes, as well as our fans, is paramount, and will be at the core of all decisions moving forward.”

EARLIER UPDATE: NCAA President Mark Emmert sent out a message on the NCAA Twitter page announcing that upcoming championship events, including the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, will be played with only essential staff and limited family attendance.

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