Duke University has opted not to no longer take part in the NCAA Tournament as the outbreak continues to spread throughout the U.S.
Suspension Covers ALL Sports
Of course, the suspension doesn’t just cover Duke basketball, it covers every single sport.
This suspension covers all sports, all competition, and all practices. Duke University President Vincent E. Price announced on Thursday.
“We are taking this action to protect the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and others who are essential to these activities,” said Price. “I know it is a great disappointment to our student-athletes and coaches, whose hard work and dedication to their sports and Duke is inspirational to so many, but we must first look out for their health and well-being. This is clearly an unprecedented moment for our university, our region and the wider world. As we take steps to confront the spread of this virus, I’m grateful for the cooperation and support of the entire Duke community.”
The rest of the ACC tournament taking place in Greensboro, NC was also canceled this morning.
“During this unpredictable time, Duke Athletics fully supports all measures to protect the health and welfare of the Duke family and beyond,” said Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White. “While we understand this may be daunting to many, please know that this decision is entirely in the best interest of all student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans.”
Duke Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski is in full support of the University’s decision.
“We emphatically support the decision made by Dr. Price today regarding the suspension of athletic competition at Duke. The welfare of our student-athletes, and all students at Duke, is paramount, and this decision reflects that institutional priority. Certainly, I want to applaud Dr. Price, who took a leadership role with his presidential peers and the Atlantic Coast Conference in arriving at this decision.”
A Domino Effect
Duke University is not the only one.
The No.1 ranked team, University of Kansas has also decided to play it safe and not partake in any sporting activities which includes the March Madness tournament.
Kansas head men’s basketball coach, Bill Self believes everyone’s health is bigger than winning a championship.
The Big 12, SEC, Big East and Pac-12 also announced Thursday they were calling off the remainder of their basketball events.
More than 124,000 people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus worldwide, and at least 4,600 people have died, according to CNN. 1,300 cases are in the U.S.
The NBA and NHL have suspended play until further notice, and MLS is suspended for at least 30 days. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported MLB “is expected to suspend spring training” and “likely will delay the beginning of the regular season as well.”
Two top-ranked teams starting a trend could be the start of the end of the annual March Madness tournament.