[Updated 3-12-20, 5:30 p.m.]
The Florida Gators in the NCAA Basketball Tournament, participating in March Madness? Not going to happen.
And that’s just the start.
Florida’s baseball team, No. 1 in the nation, will not be going to Omaha for the College World Series this summer. UF’s No. 2 gymnastics team now has no chance to compete for the national title. Same goes for the Gators’ softball team, track teams, tennis teams, golf teams and all of the school’s other spring sports.
That’s because the NCAA has canceled all of its spring and winter championships in every sport, the governing body of college athletics announced Thursday due to the threat of the coronavirus.
That news came down like a hammer only a few hours after the SEC announced that regular-season play for all sports on SEC campuses, along with postseason league championship events, would be suspended immediately through at least March 30 due to the coronavirus.
Ten of UF’s spring sports will miss games or matches — baseball, softball, men’s and women’s golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, men’s and women’s tennis and men’s and women’s track & field.
Now, they will have no chance to compete for national championships with the NCAA’s decision.
The Gators Ticket Office will automatically refund all ticket purchases for events scheduled to take place from Friday to March 30. Refunds will be processed back to the form of payment used for the original purchase. All purchasers will be contacted once the refund is processed.
The baseball team, which is No. 1 in the nation, will miss 12 games over the remainder of the month, while softball loses 11. The SEC Gymnastics Championships also has been suspended.
UF’s athletic teams will still be able to practice and hold team events. That means that spring football practice will begin on schedule Monday, but all practices will now be closed to the public and media.
Dan Mullen’s spring speaking tour has been suspended for the remainder of March. He had events scheduled for Tuesday in Jacksonville and March 30 in Orlando.
Note: The careers of the Florida gymnastics team’s four seniors — Sierra Alexander, Maegan Chant, Rachel Gowey and Amelia Hundley — will be celebrated following a 2021 home meet.