What does the coronavirus mean for the future of sports?

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Image: Marianna Bacallao

The student section cheers during the first home game of the season.

COVID-19 (coronavirus) has become a growing concern in the United States. As of March 13, there have been around 1,600 cases in America, according to the New York Times.

The virus not only affects everyday life but has also moved into the sports world, creating one of the most hectic seasons in sports history.

Mercer Sports

The SoCon has officially suspended any game competition until March 30. An official statement was released by Mercer’s Athletic Director, Jim Cole.

“During this unpredictable time, Mercer Athletics fully supports all necessary measures to protect the health and well-being of the Mercer family and the entire Middle Georgia community,” Cole said. “Our highest priority here at Mercer will always be the safety and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches, faculty, staff, and fans.”

Mercer has not made any announcements regarding make up games.  Many athletes are petitioning to have another year of eligibility due to the cancelation of their seasons.

National Basketball Association, National Soccer League and National Hockey League

Nationally, three leagues, the NBA, NSL and NHL, have already suspended gameplay for the rest of their seasons.

In the NBA, Utah Jazz’s center, Ruby Gobert tested positive for the virus on Wednesday. Other players on the team were tested and Donovan Mitchell was announced to also be positive.

NCAA

The NCAA also canceled their March Madness as well as all men’s and Women’s Division One basketball tournaments. They have also canceled all NCAA championship tournaments for winter and spring sports.

Along with the NCAA the Power Five Leagues—the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, Pac 12—have canceled basketball championships. The ACC went as far as to suspend all athletic activity for further notice.

PGA

Multiple tournaments for the PGA’s have been canceled or postponed events through the Valero Texas Open. The first (and biggest) championship of the year, the Master’s Tournament, has also been postponed. Augusta Nationals have yet to set another date and this will be the first time in history that the tournament will not be held in March or April since its inception in 1934.

MLB

The MLB has canceled spring training but has only postponed the season by two weeks. The league released in a statement that the situation “is being taken in the interests of the safety and well-being of our players, Clubs and our millions of loyal fans.”

The Olympics

There has not been an official statement yet on whether or not the Olympics will be canceled. If the event is canceled, it will be the first time the Olympics have been canceled since World War II.

XFL

The league announced that they are suspending play in their sixth week of the first year of the season. The Houston Roughnecks were leading the season with a 5-0 record.

For more coronavirus coverage, check our news section.