Gov. DeWine says he will order no spectators at NCAA First Four


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Governor Mike DeWine said in his daily update Wednesday he will soon issue an order concerning mass-gatherings in the state and the growing concern over COVID–19 coronavirus.

At the end of a news conference, the Governor said his order will include no spectators at the NCAA First Four games in Dayton that begin March 17. DeWine said those working the event will be allowed inside, including media, but said, “the order will be that there cannot be spectators there.”

NCAA President Mark Emmert released a statement Wednesday afternoon confirming the decision, saying:

“The NCAA continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 in consultation with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel. Based on their advice and my discussions with the NCAA Board of Governors, I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance. While I understand how disappointing this is for all fans of our sports, my decision is based on the current understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the United States.  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. Today, we will move forward and conduct championships consistent with the current information and will continue to monitor and make adjustments as needed.”

Mark Emmert, NCAA President

2 NEWS is working to learn more about this developing story and will keep you updated when more information is available.

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