COLLEGE STATION — With the concerning rise of the worldwide spread of COVID-19, Texas A&M on-campus sporting events will be restricted to essential staff and limited family members through at least March 30. The news broke under the reign of the Southeastern Conference officials on Wednesday evening.
The news broke after SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey stated that the SEC tournament will still be played, but fans will no longer be allowed to attend following the opening round.
"In light of recent developments beyond our control related to the spread of the coronavirus, including a recommendation from the NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel, and after consultation with our member universities, we have made the difficult decision to hold the 2020 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament in Nashville without spectators beginning with games of Thursday, March 12," Sankey said. "Effective immediately, the policy will also apply to other SEC Championship events and on-campus regular season games scheduled through at least the end of March."
"After conferring with local and national health authorities, we remain confident in our ability to safeguard the health and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and other staff who will be participating as well as the limited number of family members and media who will be in attendance at the tournament.
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In addition to the tournament ban, the SEC announced that all regular season contests in all sports on SEC campuses and SEC Championship events will be conducted with similar attendance restrictions effective Thursday, March 12 through at least March 30 at which time the conference and its member universities will re-evaluate conditions.
A&M Men's Basketball, who finished as the No.7 seed in regular season play, will face No.10 Missouri on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. The SEC Network will televise the entire first and second rounds of the tournament and the quarterfinals evening session. ESPN will broadcast the afternoon session of the quarterfinals, both semifinal matchups and the championship game.
For the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament, automatic refunds of ticket purchases will be made to fans who are the original purchaser of the tickets from SEC Office or an SEC university or a verified purchaser on the SEC Ticket Exchange powered by Ticketmaster. For regular season events, each campus will determine refund policies and procedures.
A&M spring practice was set to begin following the player's return from spring break next week. There has been no response on when practice could be moved to or changed at this time.