Notre Dame, ACC suspend all spring athletics amid COVID-19 pandemic
Observer Sports Staff | Thursday, March 12, 2020
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the ACC has announced it will indefinitely postpone spring athletics. Following suit, the Notre Dame football program and head coach Brian Kelly have announced Thursday they will be suspending team activities, including recruiting activities and the annual Blue-Gold Game, which was scheduled to take place April 18.
After having their first spring practice prior to spring break last week, players and team personnel were scheduled to return to practice Tuesday, but Kelly revealed in a statement that all teams not currently in season will not be returning to South Bend for practices until the suspension of in-person classes is lifted April 13.
“In alignment with the University of Notre Dame’s decision to suspend in-person classes and the athletic department’s decision to suspend activities for teams not in their competitive season, I have asked our student-athletes not to return to campus until further notice,” Kelly said in the statement. “With our student-athletes’ health and well-being at the forefront of our decision making, and given the rapidly changing environment surrounding COVID-19, this is best for all the members of the Notre Dame Football family. In addition, we will not be hosting any recruits or recruiting activities on campus until further notice. Fr. Jenkins and the University leadership team put a great deal of thought into the plan they laid out for Notre Dame, and I agree that our football student-athletes should take the same precautions in an effort to reduce the likelihood of the transmission of the virus.”
Additionally, after several other leagues cancelled their conference basketball tournaments, the Notre Dame men’s basketball team has seen its season come to a premature end as the ACC Tournament in Greensboro was cancelled Thursday prior to the Irish taking on No. 17 Virginia. As the regular season champions, No. 4 Florida State was awarded the conference championship by the Atlantic Coast Conference, but teams such as No. 1-ranked Kansas and No. 10-ranked Duke voluntarily suspended their athletics programs. It was also announced Thursday that the NCAA will cancel the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments this March.
Plans were initially set for NCAA and conference tournament games to be held in venues with only limited personnel admitted. Following the news that Utah Jazz center Rody Gobert and teammate Donovan Mitchell have contracted the coronavirus, the NBA announced it would be indefinitely suspending their season, and several teams went into quarantine after recently playing the Jazz.