NCAA cancels tourneys, Big Ten cancels all competitions through end of academic year over COVID-19 concerns

The NCAA has canceled its men’s and women’s championship tournaments because of the spread of COVID-19. That includes basketball, wrestling — which was slated to be at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis — and all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships, the NCAA said Thursday.

The Big Ten Conference then issued a statement canceling all remaining competitions — not just championship matches — through the end of the academic year, including spring sports that compete beyond the academic year. It also announced a moratorium on all on- and off-campus recruiting activities for the foreseeable future.

The NCAA move puts an abrupt end to the season less than a month before champions were to be crowned and comes a day after the NCAA announced the games that were scheduled to start next week would go on but played in mostly empty arenas.

University of Minnesota Athletics Director Mark Coyle issued the following statement Thursday in response to the news:

"We agree with the Big Ten’s decision to cancel all athletic competitions through the end of the school year. We also support the conference’s decision to suspend all on-campus and off-campus recruiting efforts for the foreseeable future. At this time, we are working on arranging transportation for our teams who are competing out of state to return to Minneapolis. We will provide all necessary resources for our student-athletes, coaches and staff during this difficult time. Our main priority is to ensure the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff, administrators, fans and media as we continue to monitor the COVID-19 virus."

Several other sports organizations and leagues, including the NBA, MLS, NHL, MLB and NASCAR announced changes to their schedules since Wednesday to varying degrees due to COVID-19 concerns.

You can track more disruptions due to COVID-19 here.