(WIBW) The NCAA will hold it's men's and women's basketball tournaments without fans amid coronavirus concerns, NCAA president Mark Emmert announced Wednesday afternoon.
In a statement, Emmert wrote: "The NCAA continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 in consultation with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel. Based on their advice and my discussions with the NCAA Board of Governors, I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men's and women's basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance."
He continued, "While I understand how disappointing this is for all fans of our sports, my decision is based on the current understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the United States. This decision is in the best interest of public health, including that of coaches, administrators, fans and, most importantly, our student-athletes."
This comes in response to the NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel recommendation advising against holding sporting events with fans Wednesday afternoon.
In a statement, the panel wrote in part: "...we recommend against sporting events open to the public. We do believe sport events can take place with only essential personnel and limited family attendance, and this protects our players, employees, and fans."