Sports News

How coronavirus is impacting New England sports

Boston University, Harvard, and Tufts are among the colleges with their spring seasons canceled.

Boston University's spring sports season is among those canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Boston University

The impact of the coronavirus outbreak is being felt locally, as professional and collegiate sports teams postpone and cancel upcoming events and seasons.

Professional sports are suspending seasons

The Celtics were reportedly instructed to self-quarantine as the NBA announced it would suspend the season after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for coronavirus. The New England Revolution will also put their season on hold as Major League Soccer suspends play for 30 days.

The NHL announced Thursday it would pause the season. The Bruins had six home games remaining on their schedule.

The NWHL’s Isobel Cup final was scheduled to be played in Boston Friday, but was postponed Thursday morning due to “the progression of COVID-19 in many parts of the world.”

NCAA winter postseasons have been disrupted

Winter postseason tournaments have also been disrupted by the pandemic.


This weekend’s men’s Hockey East quarterfinals were originally scheduled to be played at campus sites with no fans in attendance. UMass Amherst, UMass Lowell, Boston College, and UMaine are hosting games, where only “credentialed institutional personnel, student-athlete family members, credentialed media crews and official team party members will be allowed to attend games,” according to a statement.

The tournament was canceled Thursday.

Additionally, Boston College announced that all intercollegiate games on campus will be played without spectators, beginning Thursday.

Atlantic Hockey also canceled its postseason tournament, in which Bentley, Holy Cross, and American International were still competing.

The Colonial Athletic Association, which includes Northeastern, canceled its women’s basketball tournament. Northeastern’s team, which was still competing in Elon, N.C., will return to campus immediately, according to a release.

UMass Amherst took the court for an Atlantic 10 Conference tournament game Thursday – that had already been closed to fans – only to have the game and the tournament canceled.

Harvard, a member of the Ivy League, was scheduled to host the men’s and women’s conference basketball tournaments before they were canceled Tuesday. Harvard (21-8) was seeking an NCAA tournament bid through the tournament, but the conference’s automatic bid will go to regular-season champion Yale.


Crimson guard Bryce Aiken voiced his disappointment on Twitter, calling it a “horrible decision.”

The Atlantic Coast Conference, of which Boston College is a member, announced the cancellation of its basketball tournaments Thursday. Neither of BC’s programs were still competing.

Spring college seasons are at risk

A day after the Ivy League and New England Small College Athletic Conference canceled their spring sports seasons, the Patriot League, which includes Boston University and Holy Cross, did the same.

“The majority of Patriot League institutions have announced a temporary or semester-long transition to remote learning,” read the statement. “While we recognize the deep disappointment that will be felt by our student-athletes, coaches, and communities, a continuation of spring seasons is untenable.”

The cancellation of spring athletics practices and competitions for Patriot League schools begins March 16.

The CAA announced Thursday the suspension of all spring sports indefinitely. Northeastern’s men’s rowing program is not affiliated with the CAA, but will follow suit, according to a release from the university.

Also Thursday, the Northeastern Conference, which includes Merrimack, will suspend conference competition for its spring teams through at least March 29.

The New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference, which governs MIT, Emerson, and Wellesley, canceled the spring season for its teams Thursday afternoon.


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