The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced Wednesday evening that the organization will have a limited attendance police due to concerns during their NCAA Winter Championships about COVID-19 or more commonly known as coronavirus.
The Delta State University Lady Statesmen are competing in the NCAA Division II South Region Basketball Tournament in Cleveland, Tenn. which is set to start Friday, while the Delta State University men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams are currently competing in the NCAA Division II Swimming and Diving National Championships in Geneva, Ohio.
DSU head women’s basketball coach Craig Roden explained the information that was relayed to him on the new attendance policy for the basketball tournament.
“They’re not going to sell general admission tickets,” Roden said. “Each person in the travel party will receive six passes that they can use for family. Those people will have to go through a pass gate and show ID and that’s all that will be allowed to enter. No fans, no cheerleaders, nothing.”
The Lady Statesmen will play Eckerd in the first round of the South Region Basketball Tournament Friday at 6:30 p.m. in Cleveland, Tenn.
“It doesn’t change anything,” Roden said playing without fans. “When you go play the game, it will be more like a scrimmage than it would be a tournament atmosphere. It doesn’t change the fact of the level of competition you’re playing against.”
Roden felt the decision made by the NCAA regarding the event was something we felt was well thought out.
“I don’t know all the ins and outs,” Roden said. I’m sure they made the decision that they feel is in the best interest of all concerned. I’m not privy to the top of the line information that they are which I’m sure entered into the decision making process.”
The preliminaries for the NCAA Division II Swimming Nationals for day two started this morning at 9 a.m. The finals will start at 5 p.m. today. Start times will be 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST each day of the meet.
Marie Scovron, NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s Swimming Division committee and staff liaison, said in the following statement released Wednesday evening:
“Given the concerns, our NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships are now closed to the public. No spectators will be permitted. Our hosts are trying to secure an alternate location for fan viewing of the championships live stream and will provide information as soon as that has been determined.”