COVID-19, The NCAA And All Sports Organizations Have A Problem

Getting a handle on the virus.

As more states report cases of the Coronavirus, the guardians of sports are paying attention to the seriousness of the illness. But the games must go on and at the moment, the National Collegiate Athletic Association plans to use the business as usual mantra as in there will be March Madness and there will be no restrictions as people will be able to watch games in arenas. The NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel is not recommending cancellation or public spacing of athletic and related events scheduled to occur in public spaces across the United States. That could change in a matter of moments but the panel admits it needs a better understand of the Coronavirus and will continue to work with local, state and federal health authorities such as the CDC. The Coronavirus could potentially force the NCAA to play games before empty stands and that would translate into losing millions upon millions of dollars in ticket and concession sales with the probability of having to refund ticket money. Television would still show the games and bettors will still bet. The television money will be there if games are played before empty houses.

There is more than just the March Madness Men’s Basketball Tournament on the NCAA’s plate. The women’s tournament, spring football and all the other sports that the governing body of big-time college sports runs in March, April and May. Games continue but sports leagues in the United States will need to make decisions on keeping everyone healthy and Major League Baseball may have to make a major decision very soon on what to do with Seattle Mariners March home games. In Seattle, Major League Soccer’s Sounders and the XFL’s Dragons have played games recently. But the games will go on as sports guardians monitor and try to understand the situation.