Sports leagues across the world are keeping a close eye on the Coronavirus threat and that includes American college basketball. The NCAA announced the establishment of a COVID-19 advisory panel on Tuesday, pulling medical, public health and epidemiology experts together “to guide its response to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease.” From there, two games will reportedly be cancelled this week, with Chicago State electing not to travel for scheduled games against Seattle and Utah Valley.
Chicago State has informed the WAC that its men’s basketball team will not play its road games against Seattle University on Thurs. & Utah Valley on Sat. due to the Coronavirus threat, sources told @Stadium. There have been 9 deaths due to the Coronavirus in the Seattle area.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) March 4, 2020
Jeff Goodman of Stadium also brings word that these are the first Division 1 games to be cancelled. It is also possible that Chicago State will not be the only program that makes this kind of decision, though logistics could play something of a part in the decision-making process.
Chicago State is 4-25 this season and, in short, the two cancelled games would not have any impact on overarching basketball pursuits. With that in mind, operating in an abundance of caution would be wise because, well, basketball simply isn’t as important as the health of individuals.
The NCAA Tournament is set to begin in mid-March and the television-driven event is the single largest funding source for the NCAA and its member institutions. With that as the backdrop, there will be plenty of intrigue as to how the organization will handle the coming days but, at least in one case, a program is passing on games and playing it safe.