SEC, Conference USA cancel spring sports seasons

Published 3:35 pm Tuesday, March 17, 2020

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Southeastern Conference on Tuesday became the last major college sports league to fall to the coronavirus pandemic.

The SEC announced that it is canceling the remainder of its 2019-20 athletic year, including all championship events, because of ongoing developments related to the outbreak.

In addition, all spring football games are canceled and there will be no pro days conducted by SEC institutions.

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All of the other Power 5 conferences — the Big Ten, Pac-12, Big 12 and Atlantic Coast Conference — canceled their spring seasons late last week. The NCAA also had canceled its spring sports championships. The SEC held out hope it could resume in mid-April, but on Tuesday finally joined the rest of the college sports world.

“This is a difficult day for all of us, and I am especially disappointed for our student-athletes,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. “The health and well-being of our entire conference community is an ongoing priority for the SEC as we continue to monitor developments and information about the COVID-19 virus.”

The SEC initially suspended competition through March 30, and then extended that to April 15. The latter suspension included team and individual practices, meetings and other organized gatherings and remains in effect.

Fans who purchased tickets to the SEC softball and baseball tournaments through the conference or a university will receive full refunds by March 31.

Conference USA canceled its spring sports season on Monday night, making a brief one-sentence statement.

“Effective immediately by a unanimous vote of the Conference USA Board of Directors, all spring sport competition and championships have been canceled,” the statement read.

Conference USA had previously suspended all competition “indefinitely” and canceled its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.

Conference USA participates in baseball, softball, track and field, tennis and golf during the NCAA’s spring season.