Basketball, Basketball, Coronavirus, Hockey, Ice Hockey, Softball, Sports

NCAA, Patriot League, Boston Marathon halts BU Athletics, marathon participants amid current coronavirus outbreak

With concern over the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, several sports conferences and institutions have shut down their athletic activities. The National College Athletic Association has canceled all winter and spring championships, the Patriot League has canceled all spring practices and competition, The Hockey East Association has canceled the 2020 Hockey East men’s tournament and the Boston Marathon will be postponed until September, according to statements from the various organizations.

The cancellation rolled out by the NCAA will directly impact Boston University men’s basketball. The Terriers earned a bid to the March Madness tournament by winning the Patriot League championship over Colgate University Wednesday. 

“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,” the NCAA wrote in a statement.

BU men’s hockey will also end their season short, with the cancellation of their Hockey East quarterfinal matchup scheduled against the University of Massachusetts Lowell. According to a release from Hockey East, all other slated games in the Hockey East tournament are canceled with concerns over the coronavirus health situation.

BU softball, as well as men’s and women’s lacrosse, will see an early end to their 2020 seasons with the Patriot League’s cancellation of all spring sports. Spring practices and exhibition games from Boston University field hockey, Boston University men’s soccer and Boston University women’s soccer are canceled, according to the League’s statement. 

“While we recognize the deep disappointment that will be felt by our student-athletes, coaches, and communities, a continuation of spring seasons is untenable,” the statement read.

Shortly after their announcement, the Patriot League canceled the women’s basketball tournament. BU women’s basketball, who advanced to the semi-finals for the first time in program history after beating American University 46-44 in the quarterfinals Monday, will not play their scheduled tournament match against Lehigh University Thursday night.

“Given the rapidly changing environment regarding the ongoing spread of COVID-19 … the decision was made to protect the safety, health and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches, and campus communities,” the Patriot League wrote in the statement.

The Boston Athletic Association announced Friday morning that the Boston Marathon will be postponed to Sep. 14 amid current coronavirus concerns. 

This would be the first time in 102 years that the Boston Marathon would not take place on its originally scheduled day. In 1918, the race was canceled in favor of a military relay race during World War I.

UPDATE: The article has been updated on March 13 to reflect the changes for the official date of the Boston Marathon in 2020.

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