The NCAA announced in a statement Wednesday that it will hold its March Madness tournaments without fans and restrict attendance to “essential staff and limited family.”
The NCAA said in the statement that its COVID-19 Advisory panel recognizes the virus’ “fluidity” and “its impact on hosting events in a public space.”
The student athlete nonprofit organization cited how COVID-19 is “spreading rapidly” in the U.S. when stating that it views “behavioral risk mitigation strategies” as the “best option for slowing” the disease’s spread.
“This is especially important because mildly symptomatic individuals can transmit COVID-19,” the NCAA said in the statement, before mentioning how the organization took older adults’ higher risk of contraction into account.
“Given these considerations, coupled with a more unfavorable outcome of COVID-19 in older adults – especially those with underlying chronic medical conditions – we recommend against sporting events open to the public,” the NCAA wrote in the statement.
The NCAA concluded by saying that limiting sport events to “only essential personnel and limited family attendance” protects players, employees and fans.
Read the statement in full below:
— NCAA (@NCAA) March 11, 2020