CLEVELAND – The Mid-American Conference announced that the remainder of the MAC Tournament will be canceled in response to the coronavirus outbreak in both a statement and a press conference.
Commission Jon Steinbrecher’s press conference started shortly after 12:10 p.m. which was near the original tip-off time between No. 8 Ohio and No. 1 Akron. Teams left the court and all players, coaches and other essential staffers had temperatures taken in the locker room.
"It is incredibly disappointing in terms of the kids having a chance to compete further,“ Steinbrecher said. “From a public health stand point, this seems the most important course of action."
The MAC’s decision follows suit as the Big Ten, American Athletic Conference, Southeastern Conference and others all announced that they were cancelling their respective tournaments.
The mass cancellations of sporting events began when the NBA announced Wednesday night it was suspending the rest of its season after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus.
“We’ve been in communication for well over a week on different actions that people are taking,“ he said. “We stepped out early on procedures we were implementing for our tournament.”
Since the league’s suspension, the NHL, MLS and multiple other sporting leagues have either cancelled or suspended play until further notice.
While multiple conferences within the NCAA have canceled its respective tournaments, the institution itself has not made a decision to cancel the annual “March Madness” tournament yet.
Should the NCAA Tournament go on as scheduled, Steinbrecher said Akron would be the MAC’s representative in the tournament because it was the regular season champion.
There was no comment regarding the conference decision on what to do about spring sports, though there have been brief conversations according to Steinbrecher.