The Southeastern Conference has officially called off the rest of the 2019-2020 athletic year, ending the season for Auburn and Alabama teams playing spring sports.
The move was inevitable. The NCAA had already cancelled all national championship events and the Big 12 and Pac 12 had already made a similar announcement last weekend. Previously, the SEC had only announced postponements amid growing concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The SEC also mandated that all spring football games be cancelled and that no showcase events for pro scouts be conducted by SEC institutions.
“This is a difficult day for all of us, and I am especially disappointed for our student-athletes,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a release. “The health and well-being of our entire conference community is an ongoing priority for the SEC as we continue to monitor developments and information about the COVID-19 virus.”
Auburn baseball and softball are among the teams that have had their seasons cancelled. All of spring football practice is now called off. Spring practices were meant to open Monday and continue up to the A-Day game on April 11.
Auburn’s sports still in season amid the rise of the pandemic were: Baseball, softball, men’s basketball, swimming and diving, equestrian, tennis, golf, track and field and gymnastics.
The SEC’s cancellation also officially ends the seasons for Alabama’s baseball, softball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s golf, gymnastics, rowing, and men’s and women’s tennis teams.
Also, Alabama’s A-Day Game set for April 18 was cancelled.
The NCAA has publicly supported the idea of offering eligibility relief for athletes in spring sports who had most of their seasons cut off. The NCAA is also pondering the possibility of offering the same to winter sports which at least got to play through more of their respective seasons before national championships were cancelled.