KANSAS CITY, Mo. — All Big 12 athletic events are canceled through March 29, the league office announced on Thursday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons canceled all WVU athletic events effective through March 22. That has been extended a week to comply with the Big 12’s ruling.
Most of the sports world is grinding to a halt in the face of the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic. The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments were canceled Thursday, and the NCAA announced that it also won’t be holding championships for this year’s spring sports calendar. The NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball are among a multitude of organizations already on hiatus.
However, the Big 12’s announcement indicates that the league may still conduct championships for its spring sports if conditions allow — even if the NCAA does not.
Earlier in the day, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced that the conference gymnastics championships scheduled for WVU Coliseum on March 21 is also canceled. The suspension will also affect scheduled events for WVU tennis, track and golf.
The football team had a practice scheduled for Friday, but will be off for the remainder of spring break, which coincides with the current timeframe.
No team or recruiting travel will be permitted during the timeframe, and no recruiting visits official or unofficial will be permitted to campus.
The department will reevaluate the situation daily leading into the March 22 deadline.
“I want our student-athletes, coaches and fans to be safe and for our department to follow the recommendations of the medical professionals. This is a necessary precaution to ensure the safety of our University, community, teams and support staff,” Lyons said in an official school release. “The situation is fluid and we will monitor it daily to make the best decisions for all involved.”