NCAA President Mark Emmert released a statement announcing that no fans will be allowed to attend the NCAA Tournament. The news came following a panel recommendation to play with only essential personnel.
"Based on their (NCAA) advice and my discussions with the NCAA Board of Governors, I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men's and women's basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance," Emmert said.
NCAA Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments are scheduled to begin next week.
The NCAA's COVID-19 Advisory panel made this recommendation earlier, "The NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel recognizes the fluidity of COVID-19 and its impact on hosting events in a public space. COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in the United States, and behavioral risk mitigation strategies are the best option for slowing the spread of this disease. This is especially important because mildly symptomatic individuals can transmit COVID-19. Given these considerations, coupled with a more unfavorable outcome of COVID-19 in older adults – especially those with underlying chronic medical conditions – we recommend against sporting events open to the public. We do believe sport events can take place with only essential personnel and limited family attendance, and this protects our players, employees, and fans."
Governor Beshear in an afternoon press conference stated that he hoped that the SEC followed in the footsteps of the NCAA Tournament in removing all fans from the stands.
Not all UK players were happy with the decision. Immanuel Quickly tweeted that the tournament was "not gunna be the same."
The tournament not gunna be the same 😭😢
— Immanuel Quickley (@IQ_GodSon) March 11, 2020