The ACC Tournament will be played as scheduled beginning this afternoon at the Greensboro Coliseum, although journalists will not be allowed access to players or coaches in their locker rooms because of coronavirus concerns.
“After consultation with local and state health authorities, including the Governor and his medical staff, the Atlantic Coast Conference will hold its men’s basketball tournament as scheduled this week at the Greensboro Coliseum," read a statement from the league. "As was outlined by the Governor during his press conference, high-risk individuals are discouraged from attending mass gatherings. We will continue to take precautionary measures and follow the guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, the league and the Greensboro Coliseum are taking additional proactive measures to provide a safe and clean environment for its institutions and fans."
The league will limit journalists' access to player and coach interviews to the Odeon Theatre with additional player availability in secured areas designated by the league office.
The NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer are closing access to locker rooms and clubhouses to all non-essential personnel, including journalists, in response to the coronavirus crisis, the leagues announced Monday night.
The Mid-American Conference and the Big West announced minutes apart this evening that they would hold their tournaments, in Cleveland and in Anaheim, Calif., without spectators, according to the Washington Post.
In a statement, Duke University officials said the school is transitioning to remote instruction for all undergraduate, graduate and professional schools, the Associated Press reported. To help with the transition, the school is extending undergraduate spring break to March 22. Classes will resume the next day, the school said.
Syracuse University, whose basketball team will play at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday in the second round, announced today that all academic instruction would move from classrooms to online after Friday because coronavirus concerns. Online-only education will continue through at least March 30, the university announced.
The ACC's statement also listed measures in place at the Greensboro Coliseum:
- Frequent cleaning and sanitizing of common areas, restrooms, concessions stands, media areas, team areas;
- Increasing the number of hand-sanitizer stations throughout FanFest and the concourse;
- Posting and distributing the CDC “Stop the Spread of Germs” information to ensure all fans are aware as they enter and move about the building;
- Emergency Medical Services will be on scene for any medical concerns that arise.
The NCAA, at least for now, says play on as it relates to the coronavirus.
The organization published a statement this afternoon from president Mark Emmert regarding conference basketball tournaments being played this week, including the ACC Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum, and about the NCAA Tournament beginning next week, featuring first- and second-round games in Greensboro.
"NCAA member schools and conferences make their own decisions regarding regular season and conference tournament play," the statement from Emmert read. "As we have stated, we will make decisions on our events based on the best, most current public health guidance available. Neither the NCAA COVID-19 advisory panel, made up of leading public health and infectious disease experts in America, nor the CDC or local health officials have advised against holding sporting events. In the event circumstances change, we will make decisions accordingly."