The SEC is suspending regular season play and championship games in all sports across the SEC’s 14 member schools.
This announcement came after the SEC suspended regular season play and championship games in all sports across the SEC’s 14 member schools.
“This does not apply to teams and individuals in NCAA competition, at this time,” the announcement from the conference read.
The suspension of competition applies until at least March 30. Affected sports at UF include: men’s basketball, baseball, softball, gymnastics, lacrosse, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis and men’s and women’s track and field. Not including NCAA events, such as the NCAA Tournament for men’s basketball, or Track and Field Indoor Championships, among others, there are 42 regular season games, meets or matches across Gators athletics that will be affected.
SEC regular season competition for teams in all sports are immediately suspended. Suspension will continue until at least March 30th, per SEC. https://t.co/B5wuSNTsvY— Florida Gators (@FloridaGators) March 12, 2020
Florida will also not participate in non-conference play during this suspension of play.
Per an announcement from the University Athletic Association, "The Gators Ticket Office will automatically refund all ticket purchases for events scheduled to take place from March 13 to March 30."
ALERT 2: Based on the latest developments and the continued spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Southeastern Conference today announced the suspension of regular season competition for teams in all sports on SEC campuses, as well SEC championship events, until March 30.— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) March 12, 2020
This announcement came 30 minutes after the conference canceled the SEC Tournament Thursday afternoon. The release regarding the canceled tournament from the conference’s official Twitter account cited “the continued spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).”
ALERT: Based on the latest developments and the continued spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Southeastern Conference today announced the cancellation of the remainder of the 2020 Men’s Basketball Tournament in Nashville.— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) March 12, 2020
Just after noon, the SEC released a statement further explaining the cancellation in which commissioner Greg Sankey said, "While this was not an easy decision, the health and well-being of our entire SEC community is of paramount importance.”
Kentucky, which holds the No. 8 spot in the AP Poll, was awarded the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats went 15-3 against SEC opponents this season and swept the Gators.
This decision follows the Ivy League’s move to send the regular-season winner for both the men’s (Yale) and women’s (Princeton) teams to March Madness. The Ivy League was the first Division I conference to make such a decision and was widely criticized when the announcement was originally made on Tuesday.
The first two games of the SEC Tournament were played last night with Georgia beating Ole Miss 81-63 and Arkansas beating Vanderbilt 86-73. Both games were played in Nashville in front of fans despite NCAA President Mark Emmert’s announcement earlier in the day that championship events, including the NCAA Tournament, be played without fans in attendance.
All Power 5 (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, SEC, Pac-12) tournaments have been canceled. The ACC announced that regular-season conference champion No. 4 Florida State will represent the league in the NCAA Tournament with the league’s automatic bid. For the Pac-12, regular-season champion No. 13 Oregon will represent the conference in the NCAA Tournament. Other announcements were not immediately made from Power 5 conferences
Florida State came onto court to a mostly empty arena before their scheduled 12:30 game against Clemson for the ACC tournament. The game was then canceled.ACC, WAC, SEC, Big Ten, AAC, C-USA, Pac-12 and Big 12 tournaments have all been canceled.More: https://t.co/QZ0wnq8c2r pic.twitter.com/VoLd8gYZxF— AP Top 25 (@AP_Top25) March 12, 2020
Additionally, Florida teams will continue to practice but not travel or compete, as of Thursday afternoon. The football team’s spring practices, which are traditionally open to the public at select times, will now be closed. Coach Dan Mullen's speaking tour has also been affected, with the UAA saying "It will not be held at this time."
No announcements have been made regarding the Spring Game, which is scheduled for April 18, well after the current hiatus is scheduled to end.
Follow Kyle Wood on Twitter @Kkylewood. Contact him at [email protected].
For more of The Alligator's coverage on coronavirus (COVID-19), visit this page.
Editor's note: this headline has been updated to reflect that all regular season play has been put on hold