Coronavirus holds ASU band, spirit squad back from Pac-12 Tournament

Mar 10, 2020, 10:42 AM | Updated: 10:43 am
Head coach Bobby Hurley of the Arizona State Sun Devils reacts during the second half against the S...
Head coach Bobby Hurley of the Arizona State Sun Devils reacts during the second half against the St. John's Red Storm in the First Four of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at UD Arena on March 20, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Arizona State University’s band and spirit squad will not be traveling with the Sun Devil basketball team to Las Vegas for the Pac-12 Tournament, head coach Bobby Hurley told Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf on Tuesday.

Hurley didn’t indicate any concern about cancellation of the tournament entirely, though the Ivy League did just that on Tuesday morning with its conference tournament.

“There have been some memos just that they’re monitoring everything and they’re consulting with the people that are experts about the virus,” Hurley said. “But I don’t think that’s on the table at this point. I haven’t heard anything different. The only thing with us is we won’t have our band or our spirit squad traveling with us to Vegas this week. So that was I guess just a way for our school to limit the amount of people that potentially are traveling and might be at risk.”

Hurley said the team isn’t taking fears over the coronavirus lightly as more and more organizations are impacted by the global outbreak.

“We’re taking it pretty seriously,” Hurley said. “We’re making sure that we remind our players to constantly wash their hands and have the hand sanitizer. We have it in the locker room, we have it during practice. And just avoid, especially going to Vegas, avoid touching things that you don’t need to. We’re trying to get the point across to everybody so we limit our exposure.”

On Monday, the NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS announced in a joint statement that locker rooms and clubhouses would be closed to the media temporarily while the coronavirus spread ensues. It wasn’t immediately clear how the NCAA may limit media exposure, if at all, as college basketball’s season crescendos to conference tournaments and the NCAA tournament.

Some leagues elsewhere in the world have resorted to playing games in empty stadiums to prevent coronavirus spread between fans.

“NCAA member schools and conferences make their own decisions regarding regular season and conference tournament play” a statement from NCAA president Mark Emmert said. “As we have stated, we will make decisions on our events based on the best, most current public health guidance available.

“Neither the NCAA COVID-19 advisory panel, made up of leading public health and infectious disease experts in America, nor the CDC or local health officials have advised against holding sporting events. In the event circumstances change, we will make decisions accordingly.”

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Coronavirus holds ASU band, spirit squad back from Pac-12 Tournament