MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — At best, the next time a West Virginia athletic team will be in competition might be when the Mountaineers kick off the 2020 football season against Florida State in Atlanta.
Spring sports are done at West Virginia in 2020, with the Big 12 announcing Friday evening that it is canceling the remainder of conference and non-conference sporting events on the current academic calendar.
An official statement released by the league and all 10 member schools read:
“Due to the on-going developments related to COVID-19, the Big 12 Conference announces that all organized team activities whether organized or voluntary, including team and individual practices, meetings, and other organized gatherings, have been suspended until March 29 and will be re-evaluated at that time.
In addition, all conference and non-conference competitions are cancelled through the end of the academic year, including spring sports that compete beyond the academic year.”
Teams will have the ability to resume spring football practices if that is deemed safe following the March 29 re-evaluation.
The coronavirus officially reached the Big 12 on Friday afternoon when it was announced that the wife of University of Texas president Greg Fenves tested positive for the illness.
The mass cancelation brings a premature end to West Virginia’s baseball, men’s golf and women’s track seasons.
“I’m really disappointed for our team, especially the seniors, but the health and safety of our kids takes precedence over baseball and always will,” said WVU baseball coach Randy Mazey. “This is one of those tough parts of life that our players will have to learn how to get through. They will have each other, and we will help support them in any way we can.”
The NCAA canceled all of its spring sports championships on Thursday, but at the time there was still optimism among Big 12 membership that they could resume this year’s schedules even without crowning national champions.
On Friday, the NCAA’s leadership committee proposed granting an additional year of eligibility to spring athletes due to the cancelation of this year’s championships.