The Ohio Valley Conference announced the cancellation of all athletic competition for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The main priority of the OVC is to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators and fans. The league will continue to monitor all relevant information on COVID-19 on a daily basis,” according to a press release from the OVC on Monday.
This announcement comes just after the NCAA announced the cancelation of the NCAA basketball tournament and all winter and spring championships on Thursday.
The OVC originally suspended all athletic-related activities until further notice on Thursday following suit of many other athletic conferences and universities.
Schools like Duke University canceled all athletics prior to the NCAA’s decision on Thursday and the Southeastern Conference suspended all play until early April.
Belmont athletic director Scott Corley said he understands the OVC’s decision to cancel all athletic events as people’s health is the No. 1 priority.
“The health and welfare of our student-athletes is our top priority, and such decisions must always be viewed through the broader lens of public health and safety,” said Corley in an emailed statement.
“This is a difficult time, and we will continue to support our student-athletes, coaches and administrators in every way.”
Many spring sports were barely a month into their prospective seasons. The Belmont baseball team was having an explosive start to the season building a record of 14-3 with five walk-off wins. The Bruins just came off a series sweep at Morehead State to start conference play before the season was canceled.
“This is a reminder that there are many things more important in this world than sports,” said Dave Jarvis head baseball coach in a statement from Thursday. “It is unfortunate for all the people involved, especially the student-athletes, that worked so hard to prepare and compete for these championships.”
There is still discussion if whether or not players in spring sports will receive an extra year of eligibility due to this years’ cancellations. Eligibility relief is most likely, but the NCAA committee still needs to discuss how to properly regulate it, according to a press release from the NCAA.
Image courtesy of the OVC.