BREAKING: SEC cancels all competition for remainder of 2019-2020 year


CW Sports Staff

UPDATE: Tuesday, March 17, 2:02 p.m. CT: All SEC championships, as well as regular-season competition both within and outside of the SEC, have been canceled for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, the SEC announced in a statement on Tuesday.

The conference also announced that all spring football games and pro days held by SEC schools are canceled.

“This is a difficult day for all of us, and I am especially disappointed for our student-athletes,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in the statement. “The health and well-being of our entire conference community is an ongoing priority for the SEC as we continue to monitor developments and information about the COVID-19 virus.”

Spring football practices have yet to be completely canceled, but they and all other practices and team meetings remain suspended until at least April 15. Alabama’s annual spring game, its final practice of its allotted 15 in the spring, was scheduled for Saturday, April 18.

Fans who purchased tickets to the SEC Softball Tournament in Tuscaloosa or the SEC Baseball Tournament in Hoover will receive full refunds by March 31, as long as those purchases were made through the SEC Office or an SEC university.


UPDATE: Thursday, March 12, 12:06 p.m. CT: All regular-season athletic competitions within the SEC, as well as SEC championships, have been suspended until at least March 30 due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, the conference announced in a statement on Thursday morning.

The SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Nashville has also been cancelled. Alabama was scheduled to play Tennessee at noon CT on Thursday in the second round.

The statement also clarified that the directive does not apply to teams and individuals currently involved in NCAA competition. The status of those NCAA competitions is expected to be announced later.

The move follows a decision on Wednesday night to close all SEC competition to fans through the same time period.


Wednesday, March 11, 8:47 p.m. CT: All regular-season athletic competitions within the SEC will be closed to fans through March 30, the conference announced on Wednesday night. After that date the conference and the 14 SEC schools will discuss further action.

The statement followed the SEC’s decision to close the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament to all but “essential staff, limited family and credentialed media” through the end of the tournament on Sunday.

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said that the decision was made based on a recommendation from the NCAA’s COVID-19 Advisory Panel.

“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 in a statement. “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.

“… 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.

“We regret the inconvenience and disappointment this decision has caused our fans, especially those who have already traveled to Nashville for the [men’s basketball] tournament.”

The SEC Gymnastics Championship in Duluth, Georgia, is also included in the announcement by the SEC.

If men’s or women’s basketball were to accept bids to the National Invitation Tournament, those games would be closed to fans, according to an earlier announcement by the NCAA.

The following Alabama athletic events in Tuscaloosa will be affected:

  • Men’s basketball vs. Tennessee (3/12), any further games in the SEC Tournament
  • Softball vs. BYU (3/12), Texas (3/13), Bryant (3/14), Texas (3/15), Troy (3/18), South Carolina (3/27, 3/28, 3/29)
  • Baseball vs. Missouri (3/13, 3/14, 3/15), Southern Miss (3/24), Auburn (3/26, 3/27, 3/28)
  • Men’s tennis vs. Auburn (3/15), Georgia (3/20), Tennessee (3/22)
  • Women’s tennis vs. Ole Miss (3/19), Mississippi State (3/21), Jackson State (3/21)