by Tyler Hale
University of Arkansas home athletics games will be restricted due to coronavirus concerns for the remainder of March. U of A officials announced that home games will be restricted at least through Monday, March 30.
During this period, only essential team personnel, limited family members and credentialed media members will be allowed inside the U of A home games.
“Without these extraordinary circumstances we would be looking forward to hosting thousands of Razorback fans on our campus in the next few weeks to cheer on our student-athletes” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek said. “However, our first priority is the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff as well as the wellbeing of our loyal fans who support them. We will continue to work with the University of Arkansas, the SEC and NCAA in regard to this rapidly changing issue. We appreciate the patience and understanding of all those impacted by these measures.”
However, the Razorbacks will continue to travel for athletics event with added precautions. According to Yurachek, all team travel will be limited to essential personnel and will take place on chartered aircraft and ground transportation with no commercial travel used.
The university had suspended out-of-state travel for 60 days on Wednesday, but vice-chancellors were authorized to make travel decisions affecting their units. “We will monitor this evolving issue and continue to work in coordination with directives from the University of Arkansas, the SEC and the NCAA,” Yurachek said.
On Wednesday, March 11, the Southeastern Conference announced that it would be holding the 2020 SEC Basketball Tournament without spectators as well as all other athletics events through March.
“In light of recent developments beyond our control related to the spread of the coronavirus, including a recommendation from the NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel, and after consultation with our member universities, we have made the difficult decision to hold the 2020 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Nashville without spectators beginning with games of Thursday, March 12,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. “Effective immediately, the policy will also apply to other SEC Championship events and on-campus regular-season games scheduled through at least the end of March.”
In similar news, the NCAA announced that it would be holding March Madness games without spectators. The Big Ten, Big 12, ACC, AAC, Pac-12, SEC, Big East and Atlantic 10 conferences, as well as the SEC, followed the NCAA’s lead in restricting games. The NBA has also suspended its season play following the news that Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert has tested positive for coronavirus.