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SEC joins ACC, others in canceling ’19-20 sports

The SEC has canceled all spring football games and pro days, along with all other regular-season conference and nonconference competitions for the rest of the 2019-20 athletic year, including all remaining SEC championships because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is a difficult day for all of us, and I am especially disappointed for our student-athletes,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a prepared statement. “The health and well-being of our entire conference community is an ongoing priority for the SEC as we continue to monitor developments and information about the COVID-19 virus.”

Other SEC athletic activities, including team and individual practices, meetings and other organized gatherings, whether required or voluntary, remain suspended through at least April 15. Earlier Tuesday, the ACC announced it would cancel athletic activities through the end of the school year.

The American Athletic Conference, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 have made similar announcements over the past several days.

The SEC schools will continue to provide their student-athletes “with care and support to meet needs in areas including academics, medical care, mental health and wellness, nutrition and housing as needed,” according to the release.

The conference and its schools are also continuing to communicate with public health officials and medical experts as it moves forward.

“The conference started in the midst of the Great Depression, went through World War II, integration, the upheaval of the ’70s economically,” Sankey told ESPN last week. “We’ve had 9/11, we’ve had a tornado hit a tournament. We’ve had hurricanes. We keep moving forward together. My expectation is we’re going to take a breath, we’re going to have to address a number of issues, but we’ll go on in a strong, united way. We’ll make it through without a doubt.”

The league said it plans to give automatic, full ticket refunds for the SEC softball and baseball tournaments by March 31 to fans who purchased tickets from the league office or an SEC university.

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