As concerns grow over the coronavirus, the University of Texas in Austin has announced that all home sporting events will be played without fans in attendance through March 22.
The university issued the following statement:
Amid growing concerns over COVID-19 (coronavirus), all University of Texas home sporting events through March 22 will be contested without fans in attendance, UT Vice President and Athletics Director Chris Del Conte announced on Wednesday. In addition, Del Conte confirmed that Texas Athletics teams will continue travel to road competitions as scheduled at this time.
"We realize COVID-19 (coronavirus) is a major concern to everyone, and in an effort to mitigate any potential risks for our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans, we will be limiting those in attendance at our home sporting events through the next two weekends," Del Conte said. "We regret that our fans will not be able to attend our events to support our teams, but this decision was made with the health and well-being of our campus community and fans as the top priority.
"This is an evolving situation, and we remain in constant communication with our University leadership and will continue to reassess the situation. Ultimately, we will take direction from President Fenves and The University while continuing to discuss and evaluate the best way to handle our future events. We will continue to monitor the situation and make additional announcements if other events are impacted."
Texas will host a Baseball series with New Mexico this weekend, as well as a game against Incarnate Word on Tuesday, Mar. 17. Columbia University was scheduled to play a Men's Tennis match at Texas this Saturday, but has cancelled their trip to Austin. As scheduled, all four baseball games will be broadcasted live on Longhorn Network and UT's flagship radio station, 104.9 FM The Horn.
As earlier reported, beginning on Thursday, the Big 12 Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments have both gone to a competition format without fans. Longhorn fans who bought Big 12 Tournament tickets through Texas will be refunded for those purchases.
"The priority of the Big 12 Conference is to ensure the safety of our students, coaches, administrators, event staff and fans," the Big 12 said in a statement. "After careful consideration and consulting with medical officials, other conferences, the NCAA and local officials, the Big 12 Conference announced that after tonight's men's first round games, all remaining Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's and Women's Basketball Championship games will be played with only family, friends, credentialed media and essential staff permitted in the arenas."