From Special Reports
CLEVELAND, Miss. — The Delta State University Department of Athletics has been informed that the NCAA Division II South Region Basketball Tournament to be held on the campus of Lee (Tenn.) University in Cleveland, Tenn. will have a limited attendance policy due to concerns about COVID-19, more commonly known as coronavirus.
Fans, cheerleaders, and bands will not be allowed in the arena for the tournament games, and there will be limited attendance for player’s family members.
NCAA President Mark Emmert and the NCAA issued a statement earlier in the day about the changes forthcoming to the NCAA’s winter championships due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 virus.
“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. 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. We recognize the opportunity to compete in an NCAA national championship is an experience of a lifetime for the students and their families. Today, we will move forward and conduct championships consistent with the current information and will continue to monitor and make adjustments as needed.”
The DSU Department of Athletics is continuing to closely monitor the situation with the outbreak and is working with the NCAA. Updates will be provided as necessary going forward.