OVC suspends spring athletics

Dillan Schorfheide, Sports Editor

In a move that resembles what many conferences and leagues have done, the Ohio Valley Conference Board of Presidents announced Thursday all athletic-related activities for OVC member institutions are suspended until further notice.

These activities include competitions, as well as formal practices. On top of that, all recruiting-related travel is suspended until April 3, at which time the impact of that ban will be reevaluated, the OVC stated.

“The main priority of the OVC is to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and administrators,” the OVC said in a statement Thursday. “The league will continue to monitor all relevant information on COVID-19 on a daily basis.”

Prior to the OVC’s announcement, Eastern announced Thursday that its spring break will be extended for a second week, through March 29. On top of that, classes will be moved to an online format.

Eastern’s intramurals department also announced that all intramural sports have been suspended indefinitely until further notice.

Other conferences and leagues have either suspended or canceled their seasons or tournaments Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday night, the NBA announced it suspended its season, and Thursday, many NCAA Division I conferences, for example the Big Ten, announced they were canceling their conference basketball tournaments.

The NCAA also announced Thursday it canceled the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, as well as other winter and spring sport championships.

“This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities,” the NCAA announced in a statement released Thursday.

Eastern athletes and coaches took to social media Thursday to voice their opinions about the decision, with some adding that they felt bad for seniors who are not able to compete in their final season.

The OVC did not announce a timetable for the suspension, but here are the Eastern sports that are affected by the decision: The baseball, softball, men’s and women’s track and field (outdoor season), men’s and women’s golf, and men’s and women’s tennis programs.

Other sports have spring games or practices, like the women’s soccer team, volleyball team and football team.

The baseball, softball and men’s and women’s tennis teams all had events this weekend that are now not going to be played.

Eastern’s athletic website labeled events and games for different spring sports as canceled through April 5, around the time the OVC will re-evaluate the recruiting travel suspension.

The Daily Eastern News will be in contact with Eastern athletic director Tom Michael Friday morning for more information.


Dillan Schorfheide can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]