Big 12 limits access to basketball teams in KC

Some major events have been canceled because of virus concerns

Marc LaVoie
March 11, 2020 - 6:54 am
Mar 7, 2020; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Caleb Grill (2) is guarded by Kansas State Wildcats forward Xavier Sneed (20) during the first half at Bramlage Coliseum. Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Big 12 Conference is going ahead with both the men's and women's basketball tournaments this week in Kansas City in spite of concerns about COVID-19, or the coronavirus.

The conference enacted new protocols to protect the teams. Media members will not be allowed in locker rooms. All questions and answers will take place in an interview room, where players and coaches will be seated behind tables. Reporters and photographers will be kept an extra row of seats away from the court, and they will not be allowed onto the floor for any postgame interviews or celebrations. The men's tournament is being held at Sprint Center. The women's tournament is five blocks away at Municipal Auditorium. 

The Ivy League canceled its conference basketball tournament this week.

Feb 22, 2020; Waco, Texas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks center Udoka Azubuike (35) looks to shoot as Baylor Bears forward Tristan Clark (25) defends during the second half at Ferrell Center. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby appeared at a news conference Tuesday with Kansas City Mayor Quentin Lucas. The mayor said his job is to protect the citizens of the city; Bowlsby's responsibility is his organization's players, coaches and other personnel.

Bowlsby released a statement:

"The priority of the Big 12 Conference is to ensure the safety of our students, coaches, administrators, event staff and fans as we continue to monitor all relevant information on the COVID-19 virus and its impact on hosting events in public spaces, At this time, the Phillips 66 Big 12 Basketball Championships will continue as scheduled with additional preventive measures. The Conference will continue to consult with the KU Medical Center as well as other local and state public health departments, host facilities and the NCAA leading up to and during these events to implement best practices and provide the most current information. We encourage those attending the games to closely follow the CDC hygiene and prevention recommendations relating to COVID-19."

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