The Florida Gators University Athletic Association in conjunction with the University of Florida and the Southeastern Conference, will be cancelling spring sports as well as winter and spring championships in the wake of the Coronavirus. The spread of COVID-19 was labeled a global pandemic by the World Health Organization on Wednesday March 11.
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey originally announced Thursday morning sweeping precautions league wide for all sports, saying no SEC sporting events would be conducted through March 30. Thursday evening, the NCAA governing body and President Mark Emmert cancelled all remaining events on the calendar for all NCAA sports and championships
Read the entirety of the NCAA release:
Today, NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors canceled the Division I men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships. This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities.
Following Sankey's release and UF's own academic changes, the Florida athletic department began to release their own individual updates in relation to the remainder of all spring sports.
Team are still allowed to practice although Spring football, which begins for Dan Mullen's 2020 squad on Monday March 16, will now be closed to the public. The team had originally planned four practices open to the public. Dan Mullen's spring speaking tour, set to kick of on March 17, has also been postponed at this time.
Read the entirety of Florida's release below:
Updated March 12, 1:20pm
Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey announced today that beginning Thursday, March 12 and continuing until at least Monday, March 30, regular-season competition for teams in all sports on SEC campuses, as well SEC championship events, will be immediately suspended. The first event affected by this will be the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament in Nashville, which will be canceled.
NCAA Championship participation will be determined by NCAA authority.
The University of Florida announced it will move classes online by Monday, March 16, and classes will remain online until at least March 30. Student athletes and other students that remain on campus will continue to have access to Gator Dining, health facilities and other support services. The campus will remain open and fully operational.
The Gators Ticket Office will automatically refund all ticket purchases for events scheduled to take place from March 13 to March 30. Refunds will be processed back to the form of payment used for the original purchase. All purchasers will be contacted once the refund is processed.
The Florida athletic teams will be permitted to hold practices and team activities but will not travel or participate in competition.
The football team, which begins spring practice on March 16, will close practices to the public.
In addition, Dan Mullen's public speaking tour in March will not be held at this time.
Stick with GatorBait Media for full coverage of all Florida Gators athletics and updates to Florida's spring sports as the coronavirus evolves.