With the news earlier today that the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 (aka ‘coronavirus’) a global pandemic, Penn State announced today that they will only be holding classes remotely from March 16th through April 3rd, meaning of course, that students will not be allowed on campus during this time.
The exceptions to said campus student ban are the athletes, including the football team, who plan to continue on with the start of spring practice on March 18th. In response to this, the Athletic Department also announced their own restrictions for home sporting events, effective immediately and running through April 3rd. As a result, only “essential personnel” will be allowed to attend, which includes:
- The athletes themselves
- Coaching and support staff
- The family members of the athletes and coaching/support staff
Additionally, Penn State’s basketball team will be playing the remainder of their games without fans, as the Big Ten conference announced that starting tomorrow, they are restricting fan access, after the NCAA announced they would be doing the same.
While this is undoubtedly disappointing for everyone, especially us PSU hoops fans who had spent the past month or so researching travels costs to each of the different first/second round March Madness sites, no sporting event is worth risking countless people’s health over. On the plus side, Penn State’s odds of winning the national title have exponentially increased (you know, from all those years of playing in a virtually empty Bryce Jordan Center), so we’ve got that going for us.
As for the concerns about the Blue-White Game’s status: The game is still on for April 18th, but that is contingent upon what the situation is like after the initial ban ends on April 3rd and the university re-evaluates matters. So, let’s all hope for the best, there.