The Southeastern Conference has suspended all university athletic events through March 30, according to a March 12 email from Vanderbilt Interim Chancellor Susan Wente. This comes on the heels of the decision by the conference to cancel the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament, which was being held at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Vanderbilt, as one of the 14 members of the SEC, will be forced to shut down its athletics programs for the remainder of the month.
The programs impacted by this announcement include baseball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis and track and field.
“Effective immediately, regular season competition for teams in all sports on SEC campuses, as well as SEC championship events will be suspended until March 30,” Wente said in the email. “This decision comes just a day after the NCAA, SEC and other leagues across the country took a number of steps to limit the spread of COVID-19.”
Vanderbilt’s bowling and lacrosse teams — both of which are not members of the SEC — will also see play suspended for the remainder of the month by university order. The University announced via email yesterday that in-person classes are cancelled for the rest of the semester due to a VUMC health care worker testing positive for COVID-19. All undergraduate students on campus must move out by Sunday, March 15. Wente’s statement today answers the question of what would happen to the remaining student-athletes scheduled to participate in athletic events over the course of the next few weeks.
“We know this is a challenging time for everyone, and we appreciate your continued support as we work to address this extraordinary public health issue,” Wente said in the March 12 email. “Our commitment to the safety and well-being of our entire community, including our outstanding student-athletes, dedicated staff and coaches, remains steadfast and is our top priority.”