By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
First, I want to send prayers to everyone during this scary time. May God Bless all who have become ill and bless the families who have lost loved ones. I know this Coronavirus has had a tremendous effect on all of us in one way or another. For the many who have and will have their profession and source of income disrupted, my heart goes out to you all. With myself being involved in the media, both as a photographer, and now a writer, I found this article a sad must read. Hopefully, this horrible virus will run its course quickly, and things will return to normal for us all.
"Coronavirus Disease Wipes Out Work For Those That Lean On Sports For Income"
Story Courtesy of: The Norman Transcript
By: Joe Buettner on March 14, 2020
Joshua Gateley arrived with camera gear in tow at Sprint Center Thursday morning. He hesitantly expected a basketball-filled day with the Big 12 tournament planning to unfold before no fans.
The Oklahoma City-based freelance photographer wasn’t sure what the day held, considering the night before.
He and other credentialed photographers left the same arena following Wednesday’s Big 12 tournament play-in games hoping they’d see each other the next day as concerns over the coronavirus disease heightened.
The Big 12’s attempts to complete its men’s and women’s tournaments despite concerns over the pandemic meant Gateley, hired by ESPN to shoot the tournament in Kansas City, Missouri, would still have work through Sunday.
But just before the Texas and Texas Tech men tipped off at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, it all vanished.
“I was actually walking into the arena Thursday morning when I got a call from the producer at ESPN who said, ‘just giving you a heads up, this thing is about to get canceled,’” Gateley said.
The Big 12 axed its basketball tournaments. It later did the same with all of its spring sports.
The NCAA canceled its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments as well. The NCAA’s spring championships shortly met the same fate as March Madness.
In America's attempt to slow the coronavirus pandemic, sports have come to a near halt. It’s a difficult reality for college student-athletes and coaches, and some professional, to face with their seasons abruptly ended.
For Gateley and many others, sports’ unexpected hiatus is a direct hit to their livelihood.
Gateley, who graduated from OU with an advertising degree in 2002, relies on the sports calendar to pay his bills and support his wife and two children.
His primary clients are OU and ESPN, which provide him enough work that he was able to leave his eight-year job at an energy company to pursue freelance photography full time in February 2016.
You’ve likely seen one of Gateley’s photos. He handles portraits for OU’s student-athletes, which often complement physical and digital promotional materials for the Sooners’ myriad programs. Perhaps, you've seen him roaming OU football’s home and away sidelines, capturing action shots and frequent post-game celebrations.
Gateley is now uncertain of what he and many others in his shoes, whether freelancing full- or part-time, will do with the global pandemic clearing their work schedules.
“Really it kind of hit me [Friday] morning, at least the next two months, everything I had on my calendar that I had counted on for work is gone,” Gateley said. “... there are a lot of other people in the same boat as me. Hourly workers, who work these events and the cities that count on this revenue and everything else.
“It's weird. I've spent all day racking my brain, and I don't have an answer to what I'm going to do next.”
An estimated 57 million people worked as a freelancer in some capacity last year in the United States, according to a report from the Freelancers Union and upwork.com, which accounts for 17 percent of the country’s population.
Gateley recognizes how fortunate he is to be in his position. It took over a decade to build his current network of recurring freelance opportunities from his original photography job for a magazine 16 years ago.
“I joke with my wife all the time I don't have a real job,” Gateley said. “I love sports, I love being a fan of sports and then getting to take pictures of my biggest hobby as a job is crazy to me.
“I still try and line up jobs months out, that way I know at least the base of what I have coming and then there's always stuff that pops up. So, now that there's nothing on the horizon, it's kind of scary.”
He feels for the others affected by the outbreak — the arena vendors, security guards and others that work in or around sporting events to provide income for their families.
“I think anybody right now has a right to complain, whether it's their kids out of school or their favorite sports team isn't playing,” Gateley said. “I'm not judging anybody complaining at all. But the thing I keep thinking about or wanting to say is to most of the general public, if they're frustrated, they're frustrated that their entertainment has been taken away from them.
“But for those of us that work in the sports industry, our livelihoods, for now, have been taken away. And that goes for the athletes. For the coaches. For the hourly workers. The freelancers.”
He knows games will eventually return.
It’s just the ‘when’ that concerns him.
Story Courtesy of: LSUsports.net
Based on the latest developments and the continued spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Southeastern Conference today announced the suspension of regular season competition for teams in all sports on SEC campuses, as well SEC championship events, until March 30. This does not apply to teams and individuals in NCAA competition, at this time. The SEC reminds everyone to be attentive to everyday preventive actions identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov).
Story Courtesy of: Sports Illustrated
By: Tyler Martin
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Roughly an hour before tip off between the University of Alabama men's basketball team and Tennessee, the Southeastern Conference office announced the cancellation of its tournament due to the outbreak of COVID-19 across the nation.
ALERT: Based on the latest developments and the continued spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Southeastern Conference today announced the cancellation of the remainder of the 2020 Men’s Basketball Tournament in Nashville.
Along with the SEC, the Big 10 and American Athletic Conferences have canceled its respective tournaments as well.
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
The NCAA has just announced they will cancel remaining winter and spring men's and women's sports due to the spread of the coronavirus.
**Men's basketball: NCAA March Madness tournament
**Women's basketball: NCAA March Madness tournament (This year's Final Four was to be held in New Orleans)
**Baseball season (No College World Series)
**Softball season (No College World Series)
**Gymnastics (No Championships)
**Track and Field (No Championships)
This decision comes after several professional sports Leagues announced they were suspending play. These Leagues include, the NBA, NHL, and MLB, which has decided to cancel spring training in hopes of delaying the start of their season.
As of now, NASCAR plans to still carry on their season without fans in attendance.
The XFL has yet to announce any made decision.
The NFL is concerned about the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft, as it is scheduled to take place in a large, public outdoor setting in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Courtesy of:: John Hopkins Medicine
WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS?
Coronaviruses are a type of virus. There are many different kinds, and some cause disease. A newly identified type has caused a recent outbreak of respiratory illness now called COVID-19 that started in China.
Lauren Sauer, M.S., the director of operations with the Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response and director of research with the Johns Hopkins Biocontainment Unit, shares information about COVID-19 and what you need to know.
**How is COVID-19 spread?
Recent information indicates COVID-19 may be passed from person to person. Community spread is being seen, also. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in a particular area, including some people who are not sure how or where they became infected. COVID-19 has been detected in people throughout China and in over 100 other countries, including the United States.
The spread of this new coronavirus is being monitored by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization and health organizations like Johns Hopkins across the globe. On Jan. 30, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a public health emergency.
**How did this new coronavirus spread to humans?
COVID-19 appeared in Wuhan, a city in China, in December 2019. Although health officials are still tracing the exact source of this new coronavirus, early hypotheses thought it may be linked to a seafood market in Wuhan, China. Some people who visited the market developed viral pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus. A study that came out on Jan. 25, 2020, notes that the individual with the first reported case became ill on Dec. 1, 2019, and had no link to the seafood market. Investigations are ongoing as to how this virus originated and spread.
**What is the incubation period for COVID-19?
It appears that symptoms are showing up in people within 14 days of exposure to the virus.
**What are symptoms of COVID-19?
COVID-19 symptoms include:
A - Cough
B - Fever
C - Shortness of breath
In rare cases, COVID-19 can lead to severe respiratory problems, kidney failure or death.
If you have a fever or any kind of respiratory difficulty such as coughing or shortness of breath, call your doctor or a health care provider and explain your symptoms over the phone before going to the doctor’s office, urgent care facility or emergency room.
Over the phone, be sure to tell them if you have traveled outside the country in the last 14 days, particularly to countries affected by COVID-19 (currently China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea). Also, be sure to tell them if you suspect you have been close (within 6 feet) of someone who has COVID-19 for an extended period. Your health care provider or the emergency room team will recommend next steps.
If you have a medical emergency, call 911 and let them know about your symptoms and recent travel history. For updates, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Story Courtesy of: LSUsports.net
NASHVILLE - As announced by SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey and by a vote of SEC University Presidents, LSU Athletics confirmed attendance at all LSU athletic events will be restricted to participating student-athletes, coaches, families, officials, essential personnel and credentialed media beginning March 12 through March 30, 2020.
"We put the safety and wellbeing of our students and entire LSU community first, and after consulting with other SEC presidents we decided the prudent thing to do is to have athletic contests without fans for the near term," said Thomas Galligan, interim LSU president, adding that the purpose is to avoid large gatherings and minimize the risk of people getting sick.
The decision to restrict attendance at SEC venues was made in accordance with best practices and guidance from state, federal and public health officials regarding efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The policy will be evaluated after March 30.
"We stand strongly with Commissioner Sankey, President Galligan and our member schools on this decision," said Athletic Director Scott Woodward. "There is nothing more important than the public health and the wellbeing of our fans and student-athletes. We are prepared to do all that we can to assist in this critical effort."
The LSU Athletics Ticket Office will be in contact with impacted ticket holders for gymnastics, baseball and softball. LSU Athletics officials ask for patience as they work through this unprecedented situation with fans.
The attendance restrictions apply to all sports, ticketed and non-ticketed. Additionally, all SEC postseason play during the month of March has been similarly restricted, and the NCAA has also restricted access to winter championships including the NCAA Basketball Tournaments.
As this is a rapidly changing situation, LSU Athletics will continue to monitor developments and consult with University and health officials. LSU encourages fans, student-athletes and families to check LSUSports.net and official social media channels for continuing updates as the situation evolves.
For the latest information on the virus, on travel advisories, and for any updates for the LSU campus community, please visit www.lsu.edu/coronavirus and follow LSU's official social media channels. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at LSU.
Story Courtesy of: Sports Illustrated
By: Pat Forde
INDIANAPOLIS — March Madness without fans is now a reality.
The NCAA announced Wednesday that it will follow the lead of other sporting events and restrict fan access to its signature event, the men’s basketball tournament, due to the coronavirus outbreak. All other winter sports championships, including the women’s basketball tournament, will be under the same restriction.
The news comes just five days before Selection Sunday, when the 68-team bracket is revealed. The near-last-minute disruption presents an extraordinary logistical challenge to the NCAA and its broadcast partners, CBS and Turner Sports, and stands as the most significant disruption in the 81-year history of an event that has become a staple of American sporting culture. But the ongoing national health crisis left the NCAA with little option.
At the very least, the games will still be played.
"I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family in attendance" NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement. He continued:
"While I understand how disappointing this is for all fans of our sports, my decision is based on the current understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the United States. The decision is in the best interest of public health, including that of coaches, administrators, fans and, most importantly, our student-athletes. We recognize the opportunity to compete in an NCAA national championship is an experience of a lifetime for the students and their families. Today, we will move forward and conduct championships consistent with the current information and will continue to monitor and make adjustments as needed."
"Essential staff" has not yet been defined by the NCAA and remains under discussion. Emmert told Sports Illustrated that the venue for the men's Final Four—currently scheduled to be held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta—will likely be changed.
Wednesday's decision comes after days of deliberation. The NCAA formed an advisory panel to assess the situation and had been taking cues from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has not formally advised against holding sporting events. The majority of major conference tournaments also got underway this week with no restrictions on attendance.
But as more entities across the globe have moved to restrict large public gatherings—and as NCAA member schools have shut down campuses and sent students home—this announcement became a foregone conclusion by Tuesday.
Still, the news will be a massive disappointment to hundreds of thousands of fans hoping to follow their teams on the tournament trail. It also will have a significant economic impact on host cities, which stood to earn revenue from visitors. The entire tenor of the tournament, from raucous arenas to boisterous host cities, will be changed.
All of that is considered an acceptable bargain by the NCAA, which at least wanted to ensure that the competitions occur and champions are crowned.
There had been an escalating tension between what the academic side of NCAA member schools is doing and the desires of the athletic side. A tipping point likely was reached Tuesday that made it difficult to maintain the NCAA’s stance that the games would go on with full fan attendance. The Ivy League canceled its men’s and women’s tournaments; the Mid-American and Big West conferences restricted attendance at their tournaments; and a growing number of member schools were curtailing on-campus academic activities.
Then there was the political component. The governors of Ohio and Washington weighed in with plans that would impact March Madness.
On Tuesday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine asked for the state to hold “no (sporting) events with spectators other than the athletes, parents, and others essential to the game.” The NCAA has two rounds of the tournament scheduled in Ohio—the First Four in Dayton on March 17-18, and the first and second rounds in Cleveland on March 20 and 22.
Then Wednesday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced a restriction of gatherings to no more than 250 people in three Seattle-area counties. If that restriction is expanded to the rest of the state, it would come into conflict with NCAA tournament games scheduled to be played in Spokane on March 19 and 21. Spokane, home of likely No. 1 seed Gonzaga, is about a 4 1/2 hour drive from Seattle.
BY PAT FORDE
Story Courtesy of: ESPN
The NBA has suspended its season "until further notice" after a Utah Jazz player tested positive Wednesday for the coronavirus.
"The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight's schedule of games until further notice,'' the league said in a statement issued shortly after 9:30 p.m. ET. "The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.''
The player is the Jazz's Rudy Gobert, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. That led to Utah's game at Oklahoma City being postponed just before tipoff.
The NBA is expected to address next steps with teams when it conducts a call with the board of governors at 12:30 p.m. ET Thursday, sources told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said during ESPN's broadcast of Dallas' 113-97 victory over the visiting Denver Nuggets that he was shocked by the news that the season was being suspended.
He said his initial reaction was, "This is crazy. This can't be true."
He continued: "I mean, it's not within the realm of possibility.
It seemed more like out of a movie than reality." Cuban then added that he isn't an expert and defers to Adam Silver, the NBA commissioner, on these matters.
"I trust Adam [Silver]. You know what? It's really not about basketball or money," Cuban said. "Literally, if this thing is exploding to the point where all of a sudden players and others have had it, you think about your family. You want to make sure you're doing this the right way. Now it's much more personal, and you've seen what's happened in other countries, but just the whole idea that it's come this close and potentially a couple players have it, just, 'stunning' isn't the right word. Just crazy."
After the game, Cuban said teams have been told that they can continue to practice, and he added that players have been told they should not have visitors from out of town.
The last game to be completed Wednesday was Dallas' win over Denver, as the New Orleans Pelicans' game at the Sacramento Kings was postponed because one of the referees scheduled to work that game had worked Utah's game on Monday.
A source told ESPN's Royce Young that Gobert was never at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Wednesday, but he was in Oklahoma City and was set to play if he tested negative for the coronavirus.
Players were on the floor for warm-ups when they were told to return to the locker rooms. About 30 minutes later, fans were told that the game was postponed "due to unforeseen circumstances."
The Thunder players were cleared to leave the arena, but Utah's players are still there, and sources told Wojnarowski that the team will need to coordinate with Oklahoma and Salt Lake City public health organizations before it can return to Utah.
Players from teams the Jazz have played within the past 10 days were told to self-quarantine, sources told ESPN's Brian Windhorst. Those teams are the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors.
"I'm sure I probably had contact with [Gobert]. But at the same time, like I said, [I'm] just taking precautions," Detroit's Langston Galloway said. "We've been washing our hands, and when the reports started coming out, everybody's kinda been on their hand sanitizer, washing their hands, just staying focused on that moment of, hey, [we have] interaction with a lot of different people and knowing that at the end of the day, you might've touched the ball, you might've interacted with a fan, and just being [cautious] with that going forward."
Charlotte Hornets coach James Borrego, speaking before his team played Wednesday at Miami -- where news of the shutdown broke during the fourth quarter -- said, "These are scary times.''