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Ivy League cancels basketball tournaments amid coronavirus concerns

The Ivy League has announced the cancellation of its men's and women's basketball tournaments due to concerns regarding the coronavirus.

As the sports world attempts to navigate the concerns surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Ivy League has taken one of the most drastic precautions yet.

On Tuesday, Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris announced that the conference's presidents have decided to cancel the upcoming Ivy League Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments. Both tournaments were scheduled to take place this weekend at the Lavietes Pavilion in Cambridge, Massachusets.

“We understand and share the disappointment with student-athletes, coaches and fans who will not be able to participate in these tournaments,” Harris said. “Regrettably, the information and recommendations presented to us from public health authorities and medical professionals have convinced us that this is the most prudent decision.”

In lieu of its conference tournaments, the Ivy League will award its automatic bids to the NCAA Tournaments to its regular-season champions: Yale (men's) and Princeton (women's). All tickets to the Ivy League Basketball Tournaments have also been refunded in full.

“Following a number of league-wide discussions throughout the last several weeks, we have decided to exercise caution in the interest of student-athletes, fans and the general community,” Harris said. 

With men's and women's basketball tournaments scheduled to take place across the country -- as well as the NCAA Tournaments, NIT and CBI -- in the coming weeks, other conferences and sports leagues could soon find themselves facing similar decisions. Last weekend, spectators were banned from the NCAA Division III basketball tournament games at Johns Hopkins due to similar concerns.

On Monday, the NBA, MLB, MLS and NHL released a joint statement announcing that all locker rooms and clubhouses will only be open to players and essential team personnel "until further notice."

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