Well, you knew we were headed in that direction and we have now arrived. The NCAA announced late Wednesday afternoon that due to feats of Covid-19 virus transmission that all upcoming NCAA Championships for the spring season will be played with limited fan attendance.
According to the NCAA that means only essential staff, immediate family and media will be allowed in the various stadiums to watch the games. This includes ALL upcoming championships so Men’s and Women’s basketball, hockey, and the wrestling championships that are going to take place at US Bank Stadium next weekend. Looking further ahead gymnastics, tennis and then the other spring sports may still be affected.
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT THE MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS DIRECTLY?
——-UPDATED 9:15 WEDNESDAY NIGHT
One would assume that the Gopher women’s hockey NCAA Quarterfinal vs Ohio State at Ridder Arena on Saturday is included in these restrictions. —-IT IS
Minnesota has 10 wrestlers qualified for the NCAA Championships that now will not have a home crowd behind them.
It was already announced earlier this afternoon that the Gopher Hockey Big Ten semifinal at Penn State Saturday night would be played under the same restrictions.
BREAKING: Penn State hockey will play its semifinal game with the following personnel in attendance. In other words, no fans. pic.twitter.com/wWGoNAyu6q— David Eckert (@davideckert98) March 11, 2020
Additionally the U of M has decided that in-person classes will be suspended until at least April 1st and that online classes will take their place once the students return from spring break early next week.
BREAKING: The University of Minnesota announced it’s canceling all in-person classes across all five campuses, moving to online classes starting Monday due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. https://t.co/wZY9LAdlEZ— Star Tribune (@StarTribune) March 11, 2020
WHAT DON’T WE KNOW DIRECTLY ABOUT THE GOPHERS?
The Gophers men’s basketball team is set to begin Big Ten Tournament play against Northwestern in Indianapolis Wednesday evening. No details on any changes to that event have been announced.—THEY HAVE BEEN. The Big Ten will now follow the NCAA’s footsteps and limit crowds to players, coaches, essential staff, credentialed media and players immediate family
What about other Gopher home sporting events? Gopher women’s gymnastics was supposed to have a sold out meet against #1 Oklahoma on Saturday. No details yet on that status.—ALL GOPHERS EVENTS WILL NOW FOLLOW THE BIG TEN STANDARD—STATEMENT FROM THE U BELOW:
The University of Minnesota will follow the Big Ten’s announcement that it is limiting fans for upcoming home events. This also includes Big Ten and NCAA postseason competition hosted by the University.
Starting on Thursday, March 12, 2020, attendance will be limited to student-athletes, coaches, event staff, essential team and University staff, TV network partners, credentialed media, and immediate family members of the participating teams.
Minnesota will work with the Big Ten to review this policy moving forward.
The main priority of the University is to ensure the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, fans and media as we continue to monitor the COVID-19 virus.
Will the Gopher football open practices and spring game be cancelled? —THE PRACTICES YES, SPRING GAME IS STILL TBD BUT CANCELLATION LIKELY
This obviously is changing by the minute and we will try and keep you updated in anything that breaks. You can find immediate details as we know them on our twitter handle @TheDailyGopher.