Originally published March 12, 2020 at 12:48p.m., updated March 12, 2020 at 01:31p.m.

KU says all home and away athletic events canceled indefinitely

KU's Maria Toran Ribes returns a ball in a match against Air Force Academy, at the Jayhawk Tennis Center, February 24, 2019.

KU's Maria Toran Ribes returns a ball in a match against Air Force Academy, at the Jayhawk Tennis Center, February 24, 2019.


University of Kansas Athletic Director Jeff Long said in a statement Thursday that all athletic-related travel is canceled indefinitely, and home and away athletic events have been suspended in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The statement came shortly after all NCAA conference basketball tournaments were canceled and the fate of the NCAA Tournament was in the balance. It's unclear how the decision could be impacted should the NCAA tournament ultimately end up being played. As of now, KU Athletics spokesman Dan Beckler said KU's decision does not mean that the university has withdrawn from the NCAA tournament.

"Our highest priority at Kansas Athletics is to ensure the safety and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and staff," Long said. "Based on the recommendation of our medical professionals, we have canceled all athletic travel indefinitely. In addition, all home and away athletics events have been suspended indefinitely. We will continue to monitor the situation and determine the next appropriate steps based on advice from our medical team."

KU clarified to the Journal-World that the suspension of "athletics events" will include practices. Kansas football's spring practice was scheduled to begin March 17 and run through April 18.

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self said in a statement that while he and the No. 1-ranked Jayhawks were disappointed over the decision to cancel the Big 12 Tournament, it was clearly the necessary thing to do.

"As I said yesterday, this is bigger than a sport or championship," Self said. I know our medical staff and the NCAA will research all avenues to determine the appropriate steps moving forward.”


Robert Moore 2 years, 9 months ago

This panic is absolutely STUPID. The Wuhan virus is dangerous to the elderly. The average age of death is approximately 80. 26 of the 39 deaths were in a senior residence in Washington State.
More people die from the current strain of flu than from this Virus. It goes to show just how dangerous the media is.
Of course the current mindset of government is to punish people even if they don't deserve it.

Ross Cargo 2 years, 9 months ago

But as the case fatality data shows, there’s no real comparison. About 6 percent of people 60 or older infected with Covid-19 die, according to data we have so far; that’s over six times the fatality rate for elderly people infected with the flu. The overall case fatality rate is at least 23 times greater (the fatality rate has risen since this chart was made).

Brett McCabe 2 years, 9 months ago

You know what’s stupid? Someone who doesn’t know that a death from an infectious disease is generally the result of someone else carrying the infection.

In tomorrow’s lesson, we are are going to learn how multiplication works.

Joe Black 2 years, 9 months ago

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the virus(99%).

Ross Cargo 2 years, 9 months ago

See above. Yes, for most healthy young people, they are likely to survive. Not as much a sure thing for older folks or people with respiratory issues like asthma.

Do we not care about these populations?

Joseph Leon 2 years, 9 months ago

Robert Moore. The disease is more infectious in the flu, both because no one has any antibodies, and because of the way the disease transmits. It’s possible that 100 million people could end up infected in the United States. If everybody gets sick at once, then the hospitals are overrun, and The relatively low mortality rate will increase. So the goal is to flatten out the infection curve, so that if 100 million people do end up being infected over time, it doesn’t happen all at once. That’s why these events have to be canceled.

Ross Cargo 2 years, 9 months ago

Excellent point. To support it....

Another factor affecting the deadliness of the new coronavirus is the quality of medical care. Already, there is evidence that the overwhelmed medical system in Wuhan, where the outbreak began, led to more deaths. The World Health Organization's joint mission report from Feb. 28 found that among 56,000 laboratory-confirmed coronavirus cases, the case-fatality ratio was 3.8%. However, the case-fatality ratio in Wuhan was 5.8%, while the rest of the country — spared the overwhelming bulk of sick patients — saw a rate of 0.7%.

This means fewer people are likely to die if the medical system is prepared to face an influx of coronavirus patients.

Matthew Coleman 2 years, 9 months ago

Arguments such as McCabe's imply that panic and overreaction is somehow appropriate. There is a balance that should be pursued here. What is happening is actually unprecedented in history. Fear and fear induced overreaction is spreading faster than the virus. There have been many prior pandemics that have ended without anything like the broad knee jerk reactions we are seeing this week. Therefore Robert is well supported in calling this an overreaction.

Moreover McCabe's hysterical appeal to "Death" and his arrogant mocking is exactly the kind of commentary that causes reasonable discourse to break down - further exacerbating the problem.

A little respect for reasonably held views, including frustration over the excessive actions of administrators would go a long way.

Armen Kurdian 2 years, 9 months ago

I don't see that wholesale cancelling of the tournament was warranted...I know the argument is that there's physical contact between players. But they aren't the susceptible ones.

Right now I feel like I have in the past when we lose....geez, I'm just rambling, I don't know what to think.

Bryce Landon 2 years, 9 months ago

It feels worse. At least when we lost, we got to play the game. But to outright cancel the tournament over a fraction of a percentage of a chance that someone might get sick makes me feel like I came down to the Christmas tree and there were no presents.

Ross Cargo 2 years, 9 months ago

9) Why canceling events and self-quarantining is so important Covid-19 has quickly made large-scale gatherings and conferences unpopular if not socially frowned upon. This change arrived quickly, and may seem jarring, but it’s easier to see the logic when you understand the theory behind this kind of “social distancing” policy. The key is to “flatten the curve”: slowing the rate of increase in infections so that you spread out the cases, even if the total number doesn’t change. Flattening the curve slows the rate at which new cases arrive in hospitals, easing the burden on health care infrastructure and improving the odds that individual patients will survive.

Bryce Landon 2 years, 9 months ago

I know, right? Iowa State is still the defending Big 12 postseason champion.

Bryce Landon 2 years, 9 months ago

Anyone else starting to feel like the 1994 Montreal Expos? The Expos were the best team in baseball, but were cheated of a chance to play in the postseason and win a World Series by the 1994 strike. Here we are, arguably the best team in college basketball, and we might be robbed of a chance to win a national championship - not by Arizona, Rhode Island, Northern Iowa, VCU, etc., but by irrational fear of coronavirus. It's an outrage.

Ross Cargo 2 years, 9 months ago

Most of my posts were copy and paste from

9 charts that explain the coronavirus pandemic By Dylan Matthews Mar 12, 2020, 9:30am EDT

The charts are pretty eye opening, but not able to paste here. I did snag one paragraph from:

How deadly is the new coronavirus? By Stephanie Pappas - Live Science Contributor

Sean Doherty 2 years, 9 months ago

I would love, love, love to see college seniors and grad transfers across the board, not just college basketball, but all men's and women's sports, who's future professional career could be severely damaged (Dok, anyone?) by the NCAA to LAWYER UP. I don't mind pro sports cancelling. Players are still getting paid. NCAA has deep pockets, but won't pay players and a couple individuals can't stop them. But with the hit they are taking for canceling sports instead of the more reasonable option they had planned (no spectators) and with several thousand athletes suing for damages to their potential careers, this might just be what can destroy the NCAA.

There were a hundred different ways to handle this situation (The current U.S. situation: less than 2,000 people sick from CoronaV, and a number of deaths that are DWARFED by, oh lets just pull one out of a hat and say, teen suicides) other than just cancelling everything (which is a very black and white decision, forget about grey area). Hypothetical theory #1 of an endless supply of more reasonable solutions could be such as: temporary postponement, with empty stands, with athletes and workers verified "clean", etc, etc. The possible scenarios are vast in the gray area of life. Nothing in life is just black or white, one extreme or the complete opposite extreme.

No class action lawsuit either and no "settling", everyone has to sue individually. This just might, ultimately, lead to what we all really want: to cripple the NCAA. Through media shoveling fear, social media used as "accurate news", political tripe and overall hate, irrational mass hysteria, and a little tiny life form who reminds us of one of our favorite Hispanic beers, we all might have found the greatest cure for one of the worst diseases of the 20th and 21st centuries, the NCAA.

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