NCAA To Hold Tournament Without Fans In Attendance

With March Madness around the corner, the NCAA’s COVID-19 advisory panel has recommended against opening up sporting events to the public, per a press release. As a result, the 2020 NCAA men’s and women’s tournaments will be held without fans in attendance, NCAA president Mark Emmert announced.

“We do believe sport events can take place with only essential personnel and limited family attendance, and this protects our players, employees, and fans,” the NCAA said in its statement.

“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,” Emmert said. “This decision is in the best interest of public health.”

The changing circumstances surrounding the NCAA tournament may not have a major adverse impact on NBA teams, who have had all season to scout and form opinions on the players expected to be part of the 2020 draft class. However, it will make for an unusual and surreal event, with students and hardcore supporters no longer packing arenas to cheer for their schools.

The NCAA has yet to determine whether media will be allowed into arenas for the tournament, according to Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link).

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25 thoughts on “NCAA To Hold Tournament Without Fans In Attendance

  1. phillyballers


    I mean look at the smaller scale interactions that have created a ripple… you have a priest giving communion and potentially affecting 500 people. In Philly a cardiologist at CHOP (children’s hospital) had contact with 24 or 25 patients and 17 doctors.

    I think they Ivy league schools said they are going to video conference only.

      • Connorsoxfan

        Yeah you’re right the virus is fake news it doesn’t even exist it’s a cold genetically engineered by the media to destroy the second coming of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln molded into one superhuman greater than any being to ever walk the Earth

  2. turner9

    I see both sides in this

    It’s just a more aggressive form of the Flu, its main feature is a 2 week incubation period where you can unknowingly infect others while showing 0 symptoms.

    Is the regular public in danger of dying, NO and that’s the part most people point to with their anger towards their issues

    The first problem really is with all the sick and elderly who would not survive if they caught the virus. It is the main problem and one which more people need to consider. If all people could be trusted to get checked and use every precaution to stop the spread of the virus most of these mass shutdown alternatives would not be neccessary

    The second problem is, how do you stop the spread? Globally you would need to stop creating breeding grounds for the virus I.E. no large gatherings of people. No long distance traveling. No physical contact and face masks and sanitation to contain anyone who has the virus unknowingly from contaminating others as the vast majority of people getting the virus are getting it from others who are unknowingly infected and not showing symptoms but how many people do you think will really adhere to this, or outright gather together in spite of it

    The third problem is the individual. You have 50% of the population listening to media blow things out of proportion and are causing shortages of essential items like medicine they dont need, food they dont need. Using essential services that aren’t required. On the flip side you have another 50% who think it’s fake news or dont wash their hands, use proper hygiene, or are willing to risk infection by going to large scale groupings like sporting events AND not take precautionary. Maybe its 60-40 or 45-45 with a 10% middle ground. But either way you cant please everyone

    The last issue I see with this is the monetary involvement. Will your local government supply protective equipment for every citizen? Will I be required to buy my family’s own facemasks and sanitizers for the next month or two? What if you’re a low income family? What about jobs that require you to interact with people, hotels, restaurants, dept stores. Are the owners responsible for providing facemasks and sanitizers to every individual employee and customer? Will they be sued if an employee contracts the virus?, will businesses close? or be forced to close from lack of clientele? Who will subsidize the people who lose their jobs or the mom and pop shops that close? Or the people who will be too afraid to take the subways and trains? Do you take time off and lose pay if you’re an hourly worker and you dont feel well tomorrow morning? What if you’re a temp worker and cant take time away without fear of repercussion?

    I guess the best answer is from the experts who are telling everyone not to panic and if enough people take the necessary precautions the spread of the virus will decelerate and eventually dissapear or be so contained it won’t be a threat any longer on a large scale

    At least that’s my rational take on everything I’ve researched with my middle of the pack brain

    • Jason Lancaster

      Great comment. It’s a complex issue, we’re just getting started, and there’s a lot of misinformation.

      One thing is certain: most everyone is going to get this thing. It’s just a matter of when. Hopefully, most of us get it *after* the vaccine is made available.

  3. The law of averages suggests that one day the NCAA will make a sound decision about something. Apparently, that day is not today. This decision compromises one of the great events in American sports, and their stated reasons aren’t even coherent. These are 13 separate weekend events, each in a different area of the country and for no longer than 2 days. If the health of the players is paramount, as stated, then cancel the games. The chances of a player contracting the virus by playing in the T are real (if small), but they don’t increase much by reason of fans being at the game.

    • Buckman

      Is each team going to charter a private jet to go to their games or are they going to be crammed on a public jetliner?

      • It’s up to, and paid by, each team. Most major conference teams charter to all games, and the players are kept on tight leash and away from the public, in or outside the arena. NCAA tournament trips are for 2 games (4 days), so teams and the sites themselves try and arrange team activities to prevent player wandering outside the boundaries.

  4. BobLanier'sFeet

    It’s not an unwise move, but do they pipe in applause like a laugh track?

    • phillyballers

      Wonder if they use social media. You could basically make a mosaic image of all the people on social media up on the jumbo tron and set the volume you wanted. On one side team x fans the other side team y fans who are live streaming. I’m sure you’d get people abusing it with vulgarity or nudity though.

  5. amk3510

    Just cancel the games. March madness without fans eliminates the whole point. Theres a reason the final games are in football stadiums. Please no fanless Stanley Cup or NBA finals.

    • Jason Lancaster

      And here I was thinking the point of the tournament and the playoffs was to recognize the best teams and athletes.

      I guess it’s just pandering to fans who demand to be entertained. Incredible.

      • amk3510

        Read the second to the last sentence. Why do they play the Final Four in football stadiums? For fun?? The fans are part of the game. Pickup games are not exciting.

  6. phillyballers

    Sooo…. Jazz – Thunder game just stopped. And Rudy Gobert out sick. Yikes.

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