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Patriot League, Towson and Johns Hopkins suspend spring seasons over coronavirus fears

Baltimore-area college sports teams were hit with a flood of cancellations and postponements Thursday as league conferences put spring sports and tournaments on hold due to coronavirus fears.

The Big Ten announced that it has cancelled it’s men’s basketball tournament this week, including Maryland’s game on Friday night.

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Johns Hopkins and Towson University also announced the suspension of its spring sports programs and the Patriot League put its entire spring program on hold.

The Northeast Conference canceled the remainder of the NEC Women’s Basketball Tournament, which was scheduled to have a game at Mount St. Mary’s on Thursday night.

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Johns Hopkins Director of Athletics Jennifer S. Baker announced today the school suspended activities for all seven of its spring athletic teams through April 12. The affected programs include men’s and women’s lacrosse, baseball, men’s and women’s tennis and men’s and women’s track.

The decision comes as the university monitors the global COVID-19 outbreak. Johns Hopkins joins a growing number of conferences and individual colleges and universities announcing similar plans for their athletic programs.

The Johns Hopkins indoor track, wrestling and swimming programs will be permitted to close out their season over the next 10 days as each of those teams is participating in NCAA Championship competition. The NCAA announced on Wednesday, March 11 that only team personnel, essential staff, media and immediate family members of each participating student-athlete would be permitted to attend NCAA Championship events.

Towson suspended the remainder of the athletics varsity spring season for all 19 sports.

TU Athletics said in a news release that it was “following suit with several conferences and schools across the country on the recommendations of health officials and medical professionals to reduce the risk from the COVID-19 outbreak. TU is expecting additional announcements from the Colonial Athletic Association.”

The Patriot League, which includes teams from Navy and Loyola Maryland, issued the following statement:

"Recognizing that the health and safety of our students and broader communities is our priority, and based on the ongoing spread of COVID 19 (2019 novel Coronavirus), the Patriot League Council of Presidents has made the difficult and challenging decision to cancel all spring athletics practices and competitions through the remainder of the academic year.

"The majority of Patriot League institutions have announced a temporary or semester-long transition to remote learning. 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 decision will be effective Monday, March 16. Individual institutions will decide the championship participation status of winter teams and student-athletes who have qualified."

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