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Joe Castiglione says OU 'not altogether sure' about coronavirus cancellations of spring championships, acknowledges NCAA has more information

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Riley and Castiglione

OU coach Lincoln Riley with athletic director Joe Castiglione after the Sooners won the Red River Showdown at the Cotton Bowl Oct. 12, 2019.

OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said the athletic department is unsure why the NCAA is canceling championships that were scheduled to play in later in the spring or summer in a media teleconference on Thursday. 

Castiglione's comment comes after the NCAA canceled all remaining spring and winter championships due to the coronavirus pandemic. He also said he understands Oklahoma may not necessarily have the same information as the NCAA.

“We’re not altogether sure why championships that wouldn’t occur until much later in the spring or early summer are canceled," Castiglione said. "Now, I say that completely recognizing that those involved in making that decision have information that we don’t have in front of us right at this moment. I trust that they used it to the best of their advantage to make decisions that were right for everybody."

The cancellations include the NCAA tournament for both men's and women's basketball, which was set to start next week, the Women's College World Series, which was set to start May 28 and the College World Series, which was set to start June 13.

OU athletics suspended all athletic activity, including out of season workouts and practices, for an indefinite amount of time on Thursday. The Big 12 also canceled all regular season games and practices for all sports until March 29.

"We wanted to establish a (window of time) to extend practice or competition and then constantly assess, reevaluate, take in all the new information that we could," Castiglione said. "And then decide whether we would resume play or cancel it altogether if it reached a certain point."

Castiglione was clear that the coronavirus situation remains ongoing, and that the athletic department will continue to have conversations about how to proceed as new information becomes available.

"I’m sure that we will have another conversation, maybe as soon as tomorrow, about the impact of the NCAA decision," Castiglione said. "We’ll talk about pieces of information that have been developed and shared with the rest of the conference and other institutions. We'll have to talk through whether the Big 12 decides to stage any of its spring championships or not.”

Sports editor

Vic Reynolds is a journalism sophomore and The Daily's sports editor. Previously he served as a sports reporter covering OU's football, softball and wrestling teams.

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