As the NCAA and other sports organizations grapple with the line between over- and under-reacting to the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, Cincinnati has taken decisive action. On Tuesday, the Bearcats canceled their spring game.
The move comes after Ohio governor Mike DeWine advised the state’s teams and colleges to hold spectator-free sporting events.
“We are always going to put the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes at the forefront of any decisions and will abide by Governor DeWine’s recommendations regarding indoor athletics events on campus,” athletic director John Cunningham said. “UC Athletics is continuously monitoring COVID-19 in conjunction with our medical staff, university administration, UC’s Public Health Response Team and the American Athletic Conference. UC will continue to conduct home events and advise our teams to travel in a safe and responsible manner.”
Among all the tough calls that are or will be made in the days ahead, this was about the easiest. Cincinnati’s spring game, scheduled for Friday, April 10, was free to attend. So, in addition to reducing the risk of infection for its fans, players and staff, the Cincinnati athletics department will likely save money in the long run — the exact opposite state-of-play the NCAA is dealing with in regards to the basketball tournament.
Following the Ivy League’s decision earlier Tuesday to cancel its spring practices, Cincinnati is the first of what will likely be many college football programs to alter or shorten its spring practices.