Oregon Athletics is following suit with the NBA, NCAA, and others and will be playing games without fans due to the Coronavirus.
For fans of the Oregon Ducks, the Coronavirus(COVID-19) is now hitting close to home. Sports will not be an outlet to forget about it. On Wednesday, the NBA announced they are suspending the season, the Pac-12 will not have fans at the Men’s Basketball Tournament in Vegas starting Thursday and the University of Oregon announced their own protocols to combat Coronavirus moving forward.
To prevent the spread, keeping in mind that there is currently no one in Lane County affected, all University of Oregon home events including Women’s Basketball(NCAA Tournament), Softball and Baseball moving forward will do so without fans in attendance. Essential staff including competing student-athletes, essential working personnel, media members, and recruits will be permitted to attend games.
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The University of Oregon will continue to monitor the impact of the virus and may revise this policy.
The new policy is in effect immediately for all future home games including for the Oregon Softball team’s game against Team USA on March 18th. While I personally believe this is the right move to prevent the spread of the virus, it is clearly not fair, but it is not supposed to be.
For the Women’s Basketball team that has helped to create a foundation that the Eugene community could be proud of. For players like Sabrina Ionescu who was looking forward to a dream send-off in the NCAA Tournament to have two games at home and then two games in Portland, Oregon would have certainly been a storyline of the upcoming Women’s NCAA Tournament. I guess it is good they are actually playing and the games were not straight-up canceled, but it will definitely have a different and eerie feel in a few weeks.
The Men’s and Women’s NCAA Tournament Selection shows are next week. The Oregon Men’s Basketball team is in action in the Pac-12 Tournament Thursday vs Oregon State at Noon. The Oregon Women await the NCAA Tournament Selection show is set for Monday, March 16th at 4 pm Pacific time on ESPN.