The coronavirus outbreak is touching every corner of the world. In truth, I have never experienced a single day as impactful on the sports world as March 11, 2020. The NCAA announced that no fans will be allowed at NCAA Tournament games, both the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. Every major conference — the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC — is barring fans from attending postseason games, and the SEC went so far as to restrict attendance at all on-campus sporting events through at least March 30. The NBA suspended its season for goodness sake.
Even in the midst of college basketball, baseball, softball and gymnastics seasons, college football is beginning to feel the effects of COVID-19.
Earlier this week, Ohio State University made the decision to move all of its classes to an online format through March in an effort to control the coronavirus spread. That came one day after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine declared a State of Emergency in Ohio.
On Wednesday, as other sports took drastic steps, Ohio State football head coach Ryan Day announced that his Buckeyes would not be playing its annual spring game, which was scheduled for Saturday, April 11 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.
Day went another step further, announced that his coaching staff would not be making recruiting trips in accordance with the university’s new travel guidelines, and the defending Big Ten Conference champions would not be hosting visits from recruits until April 20 at the earliest.
Ohio State Buckeyes Cancel Spring Game, Pause Recruiting
“The Ohio State Department of Athletics will continue to host intercollegiate athletic sporting events, but attendance at all events for the remainder of the academic year will be limited to student-athletes and their immediate family members, team coaches and staff, essential event management, operational and facility staff, and credentialed members of the media. All events will be closed to the public.Advertisement
“In addition, the Ohio State spring football game, set for April 11 at Ohio Stadium, has been canceled.”
— OSU Department of Athletics, via press releaseAdvertisement
As of this publishing, the University of Cincinnati and University of Michigan have also canceled their spring game scrimmages set for a few weeks from now.
With the snowball effect rolling faster and faster with these coronavirus concerns, expect a lot of college football programs to follow suit, making for one of the craziest stretches in the sports world we’ll see in a long time.