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OU athletics: Timeline of NCAA cancellations due to coronavirus pandemic

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Joe Castiglione

Athletic Director Joe Castiglione talks with reporters after the Board of Regents meeting at Cameron University on Oct. 24, 2018. 

The spread of the coronavirus brought all college sports to a temporary end, as all winter and spring championships have been canceled. 

Along with shaking up college sports, multiple professional leagues have canceled or suspended their seasons, including the NHL, MLB and MLS. 

Here is a timeline recapping the week in collegiate sports: 

Monday, March 9 

12:02 p.m. - The Daily obtains an email from College of Architecture Dean Hans Butzer announcing that OU is considering moving all classes online for a two-week period following spring break. The email sets a 48-hour period for a decision to be made.

1:06 p.m. - Salt Lake Tribune reporter Eric Walden tweets that, following media availability, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert “made it a point to touch every mic and recorder in front of him” in light of the outbreak.

Wednesday, March 11 

11:10 a.m. - Del City boy’s basketball coach Lenny Hatchett tweets out a photo of his son meeting the Jazz's Donovan Mitchell at Del City’s gym the night before. At the time, Del City was set to face Bishop Kelley in the first round of the Oklahoma 5A State Tournament on Thursday. 

11:24 a.m. - In an injury report issued prior to the Thunder-Jazz game, Gobert is listed as questionable due to illness.

3:29 p.m. - NCAA president Mark Emmert releases a statement announcing that the 2020 Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will be played with no fans in attendance. 

6:06 p.m. - The Big 12 officially closes its conference basketball tournaments to the public. The men's and women's tournaments were set to begin the following day.

7:10 p.m. - Moments before tipoff, Thunder vice president of human and player performance Donnie Strack sprints from the Thunder bench to midcourt, huddling with the three referees. 

After a few minutes of discussion, players from both sides are instructed to return to their locker rooms. Boos rain down from the stands.

7:37 p.m. - After nearly 30 minutes of stalling, Thunder public address announcer Mario Nanni’s voice finally echoes across Chesapeake Energy Arena, “Due to unforeseen circumstances, the game tonight has been postponed. You are all safe.”

8:27 p.m. - The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports that Gobert has tested positive for COVID-19. Gobert was the first NBA player to test positive for the virus.

8:30 p.m. - The Athletic’s Sam Amick reports that all Thunder and Jazz players have been quarantined within the arena and await testing.

8:31 p.m. - ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the NBA has suspended its season.

Thursday, March 12 

8:40 a.m. - A campus-wide email from interim OU President Joseph Harroz announces that all OU classes will transition to online-only for a two-week period following spring break.

9:49 a.m. - Wojnarowski reports that Mitchell has tested positive for COVID-19.

11:40 a.m. - The Big 12 officially cancels all conference championships through April 15, including the conference basketball tournaments, becoming the last major conference to do so. 

12:26 p.m. - The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association postpones all State Basketball Tournaments because of Del City’s contact with Mitchell.

3:16 p.m. - The NCAA officially cancels all remaining winter and spring championships, including the upcoming men's basketball national championship. This announcement abruptly ends the careers of OU basketball senior Kristian Doolittle and OU women’s gymnastics seniors Maggie Nichols, Bre Showers and Jade Degouveia.

3:20 p.m. - The Big 12 cancels all regular-season competitions, recruiting and practices through March 29.

5:36 p.m. - OU suspends all athletics activities until further notice.

6:11 p.m. - The Big 12 cancels all conference and nonconference competitions through the end of the academic year.

Friday, March 13 

11:57 a.m. - CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein reports that the NCAA has suspended on- and off-campus recruiting for all sports until April 15. 

1:40 p.m. - ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the NFL has indefinitely suspended all in-person communication between teams and current college players. Former Sooners Jalen Hurts, Neville Gallimore, Kenneth Murray and CeeDee Lamb are all likely selections in April's NFL Draft.


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