MVC suspends all competition until March 30

By Brooke Buerck, Sports Reporter

The Missouri Valley Conference is suspending all conference competition, including the MVC Women’s Basketball Tournament this weekend, in an effort to contain the coronavirus according to an announcement Thursday afternoon. 

The Mar. 12 announcement follows Southern Illinois University’s announcement Wednesday evening of a spring break extension until Mar. 22 with online class accommodations to follow. 

Saluki women’s basketball was originally set to compete tonight against University of Evansville at 7 p.m. at Moline, Ill, and will now return to Carbondale. 

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MVC Tournament tickets will be refunded at the original point of purchase, according to the announcement.  

NCAA-sanctioned events are still set to take place as of Thursday afternoon despite conference competition halting, and the Saluki swimming and diving team will still send its qualifying athletes to the NCAA-sanctioned CSCAA National Invitational Championships in Cleveland this weekend.

“If the NCAA decides to let those events to continue, we’ll participate in that. But that’s not our call to decide on, so we’ll follow the NCAA’s lead on that,” said Tom Weber, associate athletic director for communications. 

According to the CSCAA, no spectators are permitted inside Busbey Natatorium during the events; scores will be available on the Meet Mobile app and a live stream on YouTube will be provided in efforts to contain coronavirus. 

Weber said the department of athletics does not have definitive answers for how it will proceed with housing athletes and continuing practice for sports in-season, including swimming and diving, baseball, softball, track and field, and men’s and women’s golf. 

“Right now, we’re working with the campus to determine what type of housing and dining are going to be open and available for the teams,” Weber said. “That’s probably the next step is to determine where the student-athletes will go, are they able to stay in the dorms or not – we’re working with the university on that.”

As far as cancelled activity being made up, the MVC will reassess the situation at the end of March and adjust their policies accordingly, Weber said. 

Sports reporter Brooke Buerck can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @bbuerck25.

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