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Pac-12 Tournament, all Pac-12 sport competitions canceled

Thursday morning, in response to the continuing spread of COVID-19, the Pac-12 joined a long list of NCAA conferences in making the decision to cancel its conference basketball tournament.

Additionally, the Pac-12 released a statement announcing the decision to cancel “all Pac-12 sport competitions and Pac-12 Championship events, effective immediately, until further notice.”

Continuing: “This decision has been made in consultations with our member universities in an effort to limit the spread of the virus and in the interest of the health and safety of our student-athletes, campus personnel, working and event personnel, and all those who attend Pac-12 events.”

The USC men’s basketball team was scheduled to tip-off against Arizona this afternoon, after the Trojans earned the No. 4 seed and a first-round bye.

It is unclear what this means for USC spring football at this time. Several programs have halted practices entirely. Others have made the decision to prohibit coaches from recruiting off campus and stopped recruits from visiting campus.

As of yesterday, following practice, head coach Clay Helton said USC would still allow both to happen, though he acknowledged that things were rapidly changing from day to day.

“Not only our nation, but the world is going through a very critical issue right now with the coronavirus,” Helton said Wednesday afternoon. “I want to credit our administration, Dr. Folt, Mike Bohn, for really being proactive. Our school I thought was more proactive than reactive.”

As far as discussions about halting spring ball, limiting recruits on campus or coaches off of it, Helton said USC is continuing as usual, for now.

“We have not gotten to that point yet,” he said. “We have discussed measures. As of spring football right now, we are allowing recruits on campus…But as things go, it’s changing daily. And the one thing that I appreciate from our administration, they are giving us constant information by the day…As I get information, I’ll pass it on to you.”

UCLA announced Thursday morning that it would cancel practices on Thursday and Saturday, then make a further decision when practices are scheduled to resume on March 31. Michigan halted its spring practice and canceled its spring game, which had been scheduled for April 18. Ohio State also canceled its spring game, which was scheduled for April 11. Notre Dame also made the decision to halt spring football and not host any recruits on campus at this time.

Erik McKinney

Erik McKinney began writing for WeAreSC in 2004, during his junior year at USC, covering the Trojans football team and recruiting. He then moved on to ESPN.com in 2011, where he served as the West Region recruiting reporter and then the Pac-12 recruiting reporter. He took over as publisher of WeAreSC in January, 2019.

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