KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Southeastern Conference announced it will conduct the Men's Basketball Tournament with only essential staff, limited family and credentialed media beginning Thursday.
The SEC also said in a news release Wednesday night that announced that all regular season contests in all sports on SEC campuses and SEC Championship events will have similar restrictions. The restrictions will go into effect from March 12 through at least March 30. Conditions will be re-evaluated at that time, according to the release.
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said in the release that "after conferring with local and national health authorities" the SEC is confident in its ability to "safeguard the health and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and other staff who will be participating, as well as the limited number of family members and media who will be in attendance at the tournament."
Automatic refunds will be issued for the Men's Basketball Tournament to fans "who are the original purchaser of the tickets from SEC Office or an SEC university, or a verified purchaser on the SEC Ticket Exchange powered by Ticketmaster. For regular season events, each campus will determine refund policies and procedures."
The SEC Network will televise the entire first and second round of the tournament and the quarterfinals evening session. ESPN will broadcast the afternoon session of the quarterfinals, both semifinal matchups and the championship game.
Missouri Athletics Director Jim Sterk added, "We are dealing with a rapidly changing and very fluid situation and the safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff is paramount. At this time, Mizzou’s athletic teams are continuing to prepare for postseason and regular season completion as scheduled. Daily team activities and practices will continue until further notice and we continue to monitor developments.
Decisions for team travel will be made on a case by case basis, but there are no changes to announce at this time. The athletics department takes direction from the University which is in constant communication with the Boone County Health Department, state and national officials.
Mizzou supports the SEC and NCAA decision to limit spectators at events through the end of the month and will have additional information about this policy in advance of our next home games.”