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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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NCAA, SEC limit fan attendance for tournament games

This story has been updated to reflect the recent announcement from the SEC.
Sporting events on the Texas A&M campus will be restricted to essential staff and limited family in accordance with a policy from the SEC, A&M athletic director Ross Bjork told The Eagle. 
This announcement follows a similar one from the NCAA. On Wednesday, the league announced that the upcoming men’s and women’s basketball tournament games will be played without fans after concerns over the spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19.
The ban will allow for the attendance of “only essential staff and limited family attendance,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement released by the NCAA.
“My decision is based on the current understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the United States,” Emmert said in his statement. “This decision is in the best interest of public health, including that of coaches, administrators, fans and, most importantly, our student-athletes. We recognize the opportunity to compete in an NCAA national championship is an experience of a lifetime for the students and their families.”
The Texas A&M women’s basketball team is awaiting seeding for the NCAA Tournament after falling in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament to Arkansas. The men’s team will face Missouri in the SEC Tournament on Thursday. 
Following the NCAA’s announcement, the SEC announced it would limit attendance at the conference man’s basketball tournament to “essential staff, limited family and credentialed media.”
Regular-season contests at all SEC schools will follow a similar policy until at least March 30, at which time the SEC and its member institutions will re-evaluate.
The Big 12 also announced on Wednesday it would limit fan attendance for its conference games to 125 people per team.
An hour prior to Wednesday’s softball game against Texas State, the A&M athletic department released the following statement from athletic director Ross Bjork:
“Fans planning to attend tonight’s softball game vs. Texas State may do so. We encourage everyone to continue taking precautions like washing of hands and using sanitizers. TAMU Athletics will follow University leaders, local health officials, and NCAA guidelines moving forward and will issue updates as soon as possible with regard to attendance of future events.”

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